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 page 44 of 67

Day 41: Extreme Fun

"If you have ever worn a shirt that was frozen under the armpits, then you know how uncomfortable that can be."

I always report the day's weather first because it is so important to us. For example, if it's cold and windy, then you know we are having fun despite the cold and wind. Or if there's a white out, then you know we are having fun despite the white out. And so forth.

Are we having fun? You bet! Would I recommend this trip to everyone? Not on your life. Unless you enjoy what I call "Extreme Fun" (Note: I coined the term.)


With no jacket I was comfortable for 15 minutes, until my shirt started to freeze under the armpits.

Today's weather was a little bit of everything all rolled into one. Except a white out and that just missed us by a hair.

The day started out sunny and warm. While skiing I overheated and was about to take off a shirt, a 10 minute affair because of my ski jacket and bibs with their suspenders. My GPS and camera are attached to the suspenders. So these have to come off first. Jenny reminded me of the fact that we are climbing to the polar plateau where the weather can change fast. So I took off my ski jacket instead. I noticed that it was all white and frosty inside. But that stopped the sweating and the goggles fogging, and I was comfortable for 15 minutes, until my shirt started to freeze under the armpits. If you have ever worn a shirt that was frozen under the armpits, then you know how uncomfortable that can be. So I put my jacket back on and skied a little harder to thaw out.

Next on the agenda was a patch of cirrus that grew by leaps and bounds until it filled practically the entire sky.

A 10-knot wind sprung up from the east (!) and soon I noticed that although the surface winds were east, a low band of clouds, probably 200 feet above the ground, was moving in from the southwest. Bizarre.

The SW horizon quickly darkened and before long snow was falling lightly. Then the most amazing miniature snowstorm approached, with low and dark clouds. Fortunately it missed us. In the next hour two more missed us. These would have been white outs for sure.


A miniature snowstorm approaching fast. A white out for sure. Fortunately it missed us.

Next, the snowstorms vanished to the NW and a band of ominous ultra-high cirrus moved in, and began to dance in front of us like ribbons of aurora. Never have I seen such a fantastic show. At one point, they formed a double helix, as though wrapping around a giant tornado.


A quick moving double helix made a fantastic sight.


Jenny enjoying the show.

In the next half hour the fantastic clouds moved off, the sky cleared, and the wind began to blow, sending rivers of spindrift flowing across the ice. The wind brought cold temperatures, minus 20 degrees C. That situation persisted for the rest of the day.



For terrain, we had a mix of everything as well. From miles of flats where the skiing was relatively fast and easy, (and by the way, the ground for the last few days has been hard as a rock, very little powder), to the afternoon's sastrugi, which at times were 6 or 7 feet high. We spent a lot of time threading a route through them, and we spent a lot of energy going up and over, and back down the other sides.



Threading a route through the sastrugi.


Then it was time for the late afternoon hill climb.

All in all a very interesting day.




Evening camp: S 86° 55.377' W 86° 35.846'

Today's mileage: 13.6

Altitude: 6850 ft., Temperature: -20 C

The story has 67 pages. This is page 44.
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