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

2007-01-05 page 59 of 67

Day 56: Cold but Very Pretty

photo

Today we skied for 10.5 hours. This was not unusual, we have averaged that for almost two months now. What was new was today's wind chill: -37C.

Needless to say we kept our rest breaks short, nothing over two minutes. Surprisingly, neither one of us wore our insulated jacket. This was to prevent sweating which could be dangerous. We were not exactly comfortable; all we could do was keep on truckin'. Every 15 or 20 minutes we would stop for half a minute to catch our breath, stretch some muscles, and admire the scenery - the ice cap, and the interesting clouds.

Despite the cold, it was an excellent day, very pretty, and the sun was shining, sometimes through thin cloud, sometimes directly. The surface was mixed, no big sastrugi (15 inches max). We had several hours during the middle of the day where the surface was fairly level. Then we started climbing again.

photo

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Again, at this evening's camp, we cannot see more than a few hundred yards ahead, to the top of the hill.

photo

My face mask at day's end.

Antarctica's katabatic winds are born on the polar plateau. They are caused by the cold air descending to the surface, and picking up speed as they roll down the slope. So we are getting 10 to 12 knots, and Patriot Hills is reporting 40 knots.

For all those who drew a map of our progress, (the 10" line) we are at 89.5

Countdown: 28.5 miles to the Pole.

Evening camp: S 89° 33.582' W 86° 15.042'

Today's mileage: 12.8 in 10.5 hrs.

Altitude: 9165 ft., Temperature: -25C, Wind chill: -37C

The story has 67 pages. This is page 59.
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