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

Skiing to South Pole

Fierce Winds, Ultra-Cold Temperatures

Adventures in Antarctica

58 days, 700 mi, Nov 2006 - Jan 2007

Ray & Jenny Jardine

2006-12-16 page 39 of 67

Day 36: Cameras Frozen All Day

Good day! Wind: 15, tapering to 10 in the afternoon. Sky: blue. Sastrugi: intense and fairly claustrophobic, appeared to be no way through. At least in the morning. But then it started to give way, and we started to pick up a bit of speed. Then at 85 deg 50 min, we were essentially in the clear!! Meaning, there was sastrugi, but only isolated clumps which we could easily find our way through on smooth paths.

About this time we also started to climb, and this lasted for a few hours.


I led all day, with Jenny following close behind. She prefers to follow me because it is easier for her, and gives her a feeling of security. I prefer to lead most of the time because it gives me a sense of openness, and the freedom to choose my own route. Also, when in the lead my mind is free to soar, without distractions.

Occasionally I like to follow, to give my eyes a rest. And usually Jenny does well in her navigation, as long as she has something to steer by, such as a small cloud dead ahead. But when the horizon is empty, such as today with the blue sky, she tends to wander off course. As I wrote in a previous update, I should have made her a bracket that holds the compass directly in front of her. Our home-made arm-mounted compass are very difficult to read.

Regardless of the conditions, I tend to check my compass about once an hour, at the rest stops. I do not have an innate sense of direction, far from it. But over the years I have developed a multitude of observation skills that in effect let me know where I am headed. And with years of practice it has become almost automatic.

For example, in a white out, the light is very subtly different, depending on which way you face. I am sensitive to that within a few degrees. So I begin by orienting myself to the compass, then when I'm skiing, if that light looks the same, I know I am headed in the right direction.

This afternoon was very nice weather as long as you kept moving and kept the rest stops very short. So I enjoyed the afternoon very much. I am in my element here, within limits. That's not to say that our margins are very great. But while skiing I often get a sense of happiness and contentment that comes over me. It simply shows that I am enjoying what I'm doing, and my mind is full of wonderful and creative thoughts.

So, for example, this afternoon I worked on the details of my Next Fun Trip (Climbing Vinson Massif) - not to get ahead of myself with this one. We have a long ways to go yet, to reach the pole.

Speaking of which, this evening we crossed the 86th parallel. Actually we skied a little longer today, and I happened to pull out my GPS and saw that we had crossed it about 50 feet ago. So we made camp here. So we have covered six degrees and have four to go.


Our cameras were frozen all day, so we could take photos only when we reached camp and had warmed the cameras.


This is the foot end of our tent, and the photo is meant to show the amount of ventilation we need when running the stove. And keep in mind that it is very windy outside. When finished with the stove, we close the inner door by 2/3, and same with the inner door on the head end. The inner doors are quite breathable, so we are still getting lots of ventilation throughout the night-time hours.

Speaking of night-time hours, we have our clocks set to Base Camp time, because we need to call them every evening, and we need to be in the tent to make the calls. Base Camp uses Chilean time of UTC-03:00. (The South Pole and McMurdo use New Zealand time of UTC+13:00.)

Evening camp: S 86° 00.033' W 86° 43.702'

Today's mileage: 13.0

Altitude: 5800 ft., Temperature: -18 C

The story has 67 pages. This is page 39.
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