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

2007-01-04 page 58 of 67

Day 55: Climbing the Same Hill for Three Days

Another beautiful day, with only light sastrugi, light winds out of the NE, bright sun and no clouds - except for a dark band hunkering on the north horizon. We are glad we are not back there. ANI guide Denise and two others at 87 deg, 27 min had whiteo ut followed by a wind-chill of minus 41.


Jenny stops to put her ski jacket back on.

We skied without our ski jackets for the first hour and a half while we dissipated the excess body heat from the night in the tent. Once we cooled off, we needed our ski jackets very dearly.

On the same subject, at one o'clock PM we stopped to have a sit-down cup of granola. The sun was shining brightly, and we were comfortable - for about four minutes. Then the chill started creeping in, and within 30 seconds we were in an emergency situation. Once the hands become stiff, it is very difficult to put on an insulated jacket and overmitts.

We didn't even get to eat our granola; we had to set off post haste to generate warmth. Once we started skiing we were comfortable again within a few minutes. The same situation happened yesterday. We were distracted by lunch and didn't notice the loss of body heat until too late. Hopefully we learned our lesson this time.


All day today, yesterday, and the day before, we were climbing the same hill. This afternoon, even the horizon to the left and right appeared sloped. All this time we cannot see very far ahead. We keep expecting to reach the top of this rise, but the top never comes.


I carry the tent in my sled as a long sausage, with only one segment of each pole disconnected at each end. This makes it easier to pitch, by far. But the joint above the stove is always frozen in the morning (and again in the evening) making it difficult to re-connect (or disconnect), and takes a lot of rubbing with a glove or mitt to melt the ice. Note for next time: come up with a method of preventing the steam from the stove from reaching this joint, because the steam condenses on the pole in this area, and freezes the pole segments together.


Presently we are laying comfortably under the Greenland quilt here in the tent, with camp chores done: water melted, dinner eaten, batteries charging, boots and face masks drying. Jenny sleeps in her two thermal shirts and three thermal pants, and recently in these colder temperatures, she wears her insulated jacket. I sleep in that plus my ski jacket and bibs, using my insulated jacket for a pillow.

This Greenland quilt, now called the Ray-Way Quilt, is what we sell in kit form, with two layers of Alpine insulation. This quilt is working perfectly for us, and we would not wish for more insulation. The reason is because the sun shines all night and heats the tent with the greenhouse effect. Outside the temperature is minus 23 C, but inside the tent it is well above freezing. On nights with no sun, we also wear insulated pants.

Countdown: 41 miles to the Pole.

Evening camp: S 89° 22.490' W 85° 46.213'

Today's mileage: 11.5 in 10.5 hrs

Altitude: 9150 ft., Temperature: -23C

The story has 67 pages. This is page 58.
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