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

2007-01-03 page 57 of 67

Day 54: Good Weather, Fairly Flat Terrain

Today was a gorgeous, sunny, no-wind, no-sastrugi day. The catch? There seems to be a catch each day in Antarctica. But not today.

With such good weather the skiing was a joy, on fairly flat terrain. The surface is wind-packed, frozen snow, and because of the wind, the spindrift acts to polish the surface to some degree.

Looking toward the sun, the light reflects from the snow, giving it a glassy look for miles all around.

photo

Very brief rest stop in good weather.

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Jenny is not to be outdone.

All morning we skied without ski jackets. About noon we took a break, and for the first time on this trip I laid down - on Jenny's sled.

It was really comfortable for a few minutes until an east wind sprung up. We started to chill immediately. End of lunch break, put the ski jackets on, put the hoods up, and get moving, quick. The afternoon was cold.

Late in the day we came to a big hill festooned with 18-inch high sastrugi. We spent the rest of the day climbing it.

photo

photo

Looking back. Usually our horizon is only a few hundred yards distant, but in this view it is twice that. This is because we have climbed a hill.

photo

My Breathicle (breath icicle) has extended down the front of the jacket.

photo

photo

I'm not reporting our elevation on a regular basis because we don't know exactly what it is. Our GPS has an altimeter built in, but the GPS altitude function only gives a very general idea; and the electronic altimeter only reads the barometric pressure, and of course this fluctuates wildly every day. Somewhere around 9,000 to 9200 feet.

Countdown: 53 miles.

Evening camp: S 89° 12.536' W 85° 02.046'

Today's mileage: 11.9 n 10.5 hrs.

Temperature: -23C

The story has 67 pages. This is page 57.
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