Day 31: Mid-Journey Resupply
White out, wind 0 to 5 knots, some snow flurries.
Snack break in warm weather.
The terrain was mostly flat in the lee of the Thiels mountains, so we found that by being extra careful we could ski just about as fast as if there were no white out. In this case, by being always ready to stop instantly when we felt or sensed a problem. I led all day, and I felt/heard Jenny crash into my sled a few times when she didn't stop quickly enough. Only once did she fall down one of the unexpected "mini ski slopes."
Despite the white out, we could see the base of the mountains, so navigation was easy. My method was to switch on the GPS long enough to read the magnetic bearing, then turn off GPS and put it away. Then pull out my compass, set the heading, and look to which mountain the compass was pointing to, then put the compass away.
Green fuel barrels
At 3:15 pm we arrived our resupply.
Our backpacks containing our resupply food and fuel.
We didn't see the fuel barrels until we were a couple miles away. We arrived at the resupply at 3:15 pm. Still in a white out, we had trouble finding a place to pitch the tent because we couldn't see the ground. So I devised a method: We pitched the tent, then lifted it high enough to look under it - and then we could see the ground at that spot. "That will never do; the ground is not smooth, and it is sloped." So we moved over a ways and looked again. After several tries we finally found a suitable place.
Still in a white out, we had trouble finding a place to pitch the tent because we couldn't see the ground texture, whether it was level and smooth.
The "Thiels" location consists of an ice runway, dozens of fuel barrels, and a skidoo and plow to maintain the runway. It's all here because this is the half-way point for refueling the Twin Otter en route to the pole.
By resupplying here we saved carrying 75 pounds each of food and fuel for a month. On the down side, the cache was about seven miles out of our way, and then it will be an extra seven more miles to get around the mountains.
Nevertheless, tonight we are eating like kings, and wearing clean socks and underwear.
Evening camp: S 85° 11.997' W 87° 53.069'
Today's mileage: 11.3 in 7.25 hrs