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

2006-12-26 page 49 of 67

Day 46: Inspired to Greater Heights

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Hoarfrost crystals in the tent's vestibule.

Today's weather was very nice, with sun mixed with clouds, and a light wind (3-5 mph) from the east. Because the wind was very light, the cold (-22C) did not bother us.

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The double sun is still with us.

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Switching leads.

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Showing the frost on the inside of my goggles. The lenses are iced-over too. The ice is the result of sweating and we try to regulate that as best we can, by adjusting our layers and opening the zippers. Meanwhile, we both carry two pair of goggles, and when one ices up, we switch to the other pair. When we don't think we will need the iced-up pair again that day, we retire them into our sleds, where the ice never melts. So we sometimes have to wear the used pair backwards on our heads. Worn this way, the ice will melt in two hours at best. When it does, we switch again. But note that strong winds do a good job of preventing the sweating and the iced-up goggles. The icing occurs when the winds are light.

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We've been climbing about 150 to 300 feet a day, and we are currently at about 8,300 feet. So technically we are on the polar plateau. But we still have about 1,000 feet to climb, as the South Pole is at 9,300 feet.

The sastrugi was rough about half the day, but not bad otherwise. But we had 1 to 2 inches of powder snow on the ground, and that made the sledging more of a workout.

As of yesterday we were 3/4 of the way, and this evening we have 149 miles left.

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A cold lunch stop. Because of the cold, a real quick lunch stop.

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We are using a Garmin GPS with lithium batteries, and it is the only piece of our tech gear that will withstand the cold. It comes out of my inside ski jacket pocket often covered in frost and ice, and yet it works every time.

As I ski along, I think constructively on all sorts of topics. One of them is a book I plan to write, tentatively titled "My Pic'ho Story." This is a personal story of an unfortunate injury that happened a little more than a year ago (2006-09-20); of how I recovered from it; and of how it inspired me to greater heights. In the last year we have climbed our local mountain Pic'ho more than 100 times, learned to kite ski, and gone to Greenland for sledging and kite skiing among several other trips. And now here we are in Antarctica! I think the story will be of interest to the general audience, not just outdoor types. This book will not be about philosophy, religion, spiritual transformation, or even wilderness connection. It is about real events.

Evening camp: S 87° 48.974' W 86° 28.521'

Today's mileage: 12.3

Altitude: 8390 ft., Temperature: -22C

The story has 67 pages. This is page 49.
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