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

2006-11-16 page 9 of 67

Day 6: Circle of Survivability


We awakened to find long condensation crystals on the tent walls. This tells us we needed more ventilation. Our tent is not waterproof, it doesn't rain in Antarctica. So we made the tent breathable. But we still need to have the doors at each end open somewhat, depending on the wind.


In the early morning, it takes us some time to melt drinking water, to pack gear, and to dress for the outside. Then Jenny ventures out. From inside the tent I hand her bags of gear, then she packs them in our pulks.


In very high winds, the horizon is obscured by a ground blizzard.


Skiing in storm conditions is not for the faint of heart.


Self portraits. We each hang our camera on an elastic cord, under our clothing and next to the skin to prevent them from freezing. When we want to take a photo, we have to unzip a ways, then pull on the cord to lift the camera. But sometimes we find the zipper frozen, and when that happens we can't get to the camera.

Today's weather is quite stormy: cold and windy. SW 35 mph to start, then 50 mph for 3 hours, then gradually easing back to 35. In a word, cold!

The good news is the sky was not all cloudy, and ironically the same high-wind cloud hung in the same part of the sky, directly ahead, all day. So navigating was easy. In fact I put my compass away, and did not use it for 6 hours.

For most of the day we seemed to be going uphill. That, and bucking the stiff headwinds, had us feeling the good workout - i.e.: warmth. (relative)


Bucking stiff headwinds. The wind is so strong and cold that I'm wearing my insulated jacket over my regular bibs. I usually save this jacket for wearing at camp, when I'm no longer generating metabolic heat by skiing. But in this storm I need the extra warmth. Jenny made this jacket with one layer of Ray-Way Quilt-Kit insulation.

My ski jacket zipper froze right away, and I could not get to my camera and GPS. Back to the drawing board when we get home. As Jenny pulled out her camera, it was covered in ice, even though she was carrying it in her inner pocket, one layer of thin material away from her skin. In this kind of cold, and working hard, the skin is warm but the micro-climate layer is incredibly thin. When I can get to my camera, it only works when I carry it next to my skin. In my shirt pocket it freezes.

All day today I was thinking of how beautiful it is here, and how much fun it is. Most people would not call this fun, but I am having a great time! Just to think - Antarctica! The circle of survivability is incredibly small, but we are doing our best to stay inside it.


Making camp


Moving in for a closer look, we see that my goggles are somewhat fogged after the exercise of shoveling a ton of snow onto the snow skirt. But I'm still smiling. And the wind is still blowing hard.


Jenny snaps a self-portrait (now called a selfie) with her camera. The light here is super bright, and working with goggles off is risky to a person's the eyes - but sometimes necessary. And here she is smiling with the anticipation of crawling into the tent, to get out of the weather.

Evening camp: S 80° 49.525' W 81° 31.066'

Today's mileage: 9.3 m

Weather: windy, Temperature: -20C

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