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

2006-12-19 page 42 of 67

Day 39: Climbing to the Polar Plateau


Clear sky, 10 mph wind, sastrugi moderate. So what is today's challenge? The cold. But after all, this is Antarctica.

Nevertheless, it's especially cold today, and for the moment I'm worried. Behind me, Jenny is running on only seven cylinders, and has trouble catching her breath. We are both skiing at only half speed at great effort. Something is wrong. Then it dawns on me. The stove.

Jenny feels pretty wretched, so I offer to make camp. But no, "We've got to make our 12.5 today and as long as you lead, I'm fine". So that is what we did, and before long Jenny was back up to speed, and my anxieties were no more.

Mid-day we left the sastrugi behind. No doubt there will be sastrugi most of the way to the pole, but here they were gone. In their place we had soft snow, and because of the low temperatures it was not slippery for the runners. So for the first time on the trip I adjusted both of our sled traces so that the sleds would track directly behind us, not off to one side. This made it easier for her to follow behind me with her sled following in the tracks of my sled.



All day today we climbed. And without the sastrugi the terrain was much more open and expansive. As we climbed higher we could look back and admire the magnificent vistas. It was very beautiful.

After ten hours of skiing with regular, short, standing breaks for snacks and water, we made camp on the same hill. We suspect that this hill is practically endless as we climb to the Polar Plateau.

While skiing today I had a thought discovery. Once in the tent, I checked the stove, and sure enough I found that the jet was loose in its threaded holder. So this must have contributed to the fumes, both this morning and a couple of days ago. I deduced that the jet needs to be screwed in extra tight to cope with the large temperature fluctuations. All stoves produce fumes, but I figure that a loose jet will produce more than carbon monoxide.


For those interested in tracking our progress, this is easy. We are tracking generally down the same longitude (86 degrees west). So we are interested in the latitude. So with ruler in hand, draw a straight line 10 inches long. Then draw a tick mark at one-inch intervals. At the first tick mark, write 80. The next tick mark is 81 degrees, and so on, to the finish at 90 degrees. Then draw a small circle at 86 and a half degrees. That is our approximate position tonight. See the coordinates at the bottom of this entry: South 86 degrees, 33 minutes. And note that each degree is divided into 60 minutes.


Evening camp: S 86° 33.120' W 86° 39.044'

Today's mileage: 13.4 in 10 hrs

The story has 67 pages. This is page 42.
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