Contents
  Title Page
  Preparations Arizona USA
  Preparations Punta Arenas, Chile
  Day 1: Antarctica!
  Day 2: First Taste of the Wind
  Day 3: Close Call
  Day 4: A Beautiful Day
  Day 5: The Wedge Design
  Day 6: Circle of Survivability
  Day 7: Mountains to our West
  Day 8: Skiing in a White out
  Day 9: Jenny Unleashed
  Day 10: Face Mask Freezing to the Nose
  Day 11: Howling Winds and Rough Terrain
  Day 12: Sledging away from the Maritime Influence
  Day 13: Rocking out
  Day 14: Frozen Face Mask
  Day 15: Coldest and Windiest Place on Earth
  Day 16: Skiing on Frozen Rubble
  Day 17: Tracks!
  Day 18: Slogging into Fierce Headwinds
  Day 19: First Sponge Bath
  Day 20: Playing in the Junkyard
  Day 21: Three Weeks, One-Third of the Distance
  Day 22: Playing in the Junkyard, Part 2
  Day 23: The otherworldly Glowing Blue Light
  Day 24: A Packman Game
  Day 25: The vision must be kept
  Day 26: Frozen Cameras
  Day 27: Low Margins of Safety in Strong Winds
  Day 28: Anomalies in the flat Antarctica myth
  Day 29: Thiels Mountains Visible in the Distance
  Day 30: The Half-Way Point
  Day 31: Mid-Journey Resupply
  Day 32: Sastrugi on top of Sastrugi
  Day 33: Skiing Alongside the Thiels
  Day 34: White Out and Mild-Mannered Sastrugi
  Day 35: Difficult Terrain
  Day 36: Cameras Frozen All Day
  Day 37: Alone in an Immense Wilderness
  Day 38: Warm weather and sleds are dragging hard
  Day 39: Climbing to the Polar Plateau
  Day 40: The Disappearing Hill
  Day 41: Extreme Fun
  Day 42: Seven Down, Three to Go
  Day 43: If your ski tips have no shadow, stop quick!
  Day 44: A Strange Object Flies Overhead
  Day 45: Perils of Crossing a Body-Heat Rubicon
  Day 46: Inspired to Greater Heights
  Day 47: Antarctica's Double Sun
  Day 48: Eight Degrees Down, Two To Go
  Day 49: Skiing in the Tropic of Antarctica
  Day 50: The Sun and its Antics
  Day 51: Short Antarctic Summers Wait for No One
  Day 52: Showers and laundry perhaps? No chance
  Day 53: Gaining the Polar Plateau
  Day 54: Good Weather, Fairly Flat Terrain
  Day 55: Climbing the Same Hill for Three Days
  Day 56: Cold but Very Pretty
  Day 57: Gorgeous Weather, Enjoyable Day
  Day 58: Almost There
  Day 59: The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
  The Flight to Patriot Hills
  Patriot Hills
  Mount Vinson
  Patriot Hills
  Aconcagua

Skiing to South Pole

Fierce Winds, Ultra-Cold Temperatures

Adventures in Antarctica

58 days, 700 mi, Nov 2006 - Jan 2007

Ray & Jenny Jardine

2006-12-13 page 36 of 67

Day 33: Skiing Alongside the Thiels

We knew we had camped in the middle of chaos, and we still had a long way to ski before reaching the far end. But we had forgotten our Checkers set, so there was nothing for it but to load the sleds and see what the day had in store.

photo

Nolan Pillar, Smith Knob, Mount Wrather

Can you believe it? Today was even more of a blubber burner than yesterday. Fortunately, we still have lots of blubber to burn. Speaking for myself that is. I don't know where Jenny gets her energy; she seems to have an unlimited supply.

photo

photo

photo

In most of these pictures, the intense white light has made the surface appear fairly flat. So when we describe the sastrugi as rough, it sure doesn't look like it in the photos. But take another look at this one; Jenny's left ski tip is 16" off the surface.

photo

photo

photo

Boots gave Jenny better traction through this section.

Three hours into our morning, Jenny discovered that she could haul her sled out of holes better without wearing her skis. Boots give better traction. So we strapped her skis onto my sled, and she pulled with boots for two hours. The surface is white ice and frozen snow, and if you find an inch of powder snow somewhere it is a rarity.

photo

The difficult sastrugi was caused by last winter's winds accelerating over the Thiel Mountains. If we would have stayed close to the mountains we would have been in that all day. Instead we headed southeast for five hours on a course that took us away from the mountains.

photo

Now outside the zone of severe sastrugi, we are free to enjoy the grand scenery.

photo

photo

The mountains look close, but actually are some four miles away.

Reaching the edge of the severe sastrugi, we followed a heading that would take us back to the Pole. Then for most of the afternoon we skied alongside the Thiels at a distance of perhaps four miles. The rest of the day we climbed a big hill and watched the Thiels recede slowly in the distance.

The exercise keeps us warm, but even on a nice day like today we can't stop for more than a few minutes without getting cold.

When outside the tent we have to wear our ski goggles all the time. The reason is not so much the bright light which would cause snow blindness in short order, but to protect our eyes from the cold and wind. Even 10 knots at -16 degrees Centigrade is intolerable to the eyes. So the last thing we do before leaving the tent is pull the goggles down over the eyes. Then, at the end of the day, the first thing we do when entering the tent is to remove the goggles.

We each carry a spare pair of goggles in our sleds. Should the lens of the primary pair ice up, we switch to the secondary pair.

photo

photo

Nice day in Antarctica, cold and windy but incredibly beautiful.

In retrospect, it was a strenuous day, but the weather was perfect and the scenery was incredibly beautiful with the mountains nearby and the polar landscape extending away to forever. Never mind our short mileage, it was a day to remember for its beauty, and for the fact that we are in Antarctica!

photo

Evening camp: S 85° 30.724' W 86° 40.558'

Today's mileage: 11.2

Wind: 10 knots; Altitude: 5170 ft., Temperature: -16 C

The story has 67 pages. This is page 36.
<---- Previous page   Next Page ---->
<< First page   Last page >>

Previous Article
 2006 05 Greenland 
 Home   RayJardine.com 
Copyright © 2017
26,989,516 visitors
 
PLEASE DO NOT COPY these photos and pages to other websites. Thank you!
Next Article
 2007 01 Vinson