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

2006-12-20 page 43 of 67

Day 40: The Disappearing Hill

"That's the nice thing about Antarctica. When you get tired of looking at the same old snowy landscape, a white out comes along and erases it. Then, when the white out finally clears, you are glad to have the landscape to look at again."

Blue sky, 15 mph wind, cold but not as cold as yesterday, sastrugi moderate. Funny thing: the hill we were climbing disappeared.

We have seen this happen many times. In the late afternoon (when tired) we labor slowly up a steep hill, and finally select a campsite which appears very steep. But once in the tent, the ground feels level. Then in the morning, when stepping out we are very surprised to find the terrain appears level on all sides. Many times while skiing we agree on the steepness, but not always. For example, this afternoon Jenny was climbing and I was skiing on level ground.



A sudden white out has erased the landscape.

We were weaving our way through the sastrugi, about an hour into our day, when a batch of clouds moved in from the SE. An hour later it was snowing, and we were groping along in a white out, which lasted the rest of the day.

That's the nice thing about Antarctica. When you get tired of looking at the same old snowy landscape, a white out comes along and erases it. Then, when the white out finally clears, you are glad to have the landscape to look at again.


The white out finally begins to clear.


Our face masks look pretty durpy but they do keep us warm.

At day's end we set up camp, using the technique of pitching the tent and looking under it to see the ground for suitability. We crawled into the tent, and within minutes the sun popped out.


Writing this update.

In direct sun, the tent absorbs a great amount of solar heat. But what the sun giveth, the wind taketh away. Even 5 or 10 knots of wind stabs like a driven knife. It has a tremendous cooling effect. But for the first time this evening, there was no wind. So we enjoyed our warmest time in the tent, ever. Never mind the minus 15 degrees Celsius outside, it was so warm in the tent, we had to leave both doors partially open for an hour or so.

Today we crossed 86 deg 40 min, which is 2/3 the way to the pole. We have come about 500 miles, and we have 225 miles left, and counting.

Evening camp: S 86° 43.630' W 86° 44.189'

Today's mileage: 12.1 in 10 hrs

Altitude: 6415 ft., Temperature: -15 C

The story has 67 pages. This is page 43.
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