17 December 2011

December 16th: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

December 16th S 86:56.7 W 76:38.0 An expedition to the North or South Pole always has one unforgettable factor: you can never be totally prepared for what you're about to embark on. No matter how hard you train, how perfectly prepared your gear is, one factor remains unaccounted for: the survival factor. It always comes to mind when you hop off the plane and hit the snow: "what did I get myslef into?". The sheer weather extremes (from good to bad), a physical and mental demand, forcing you to go beyond your limits, push yourself to the edge. That's the beauty of these kinds of expeditions - you go beyond your capabilities, you survive such an amazing adventure; one you never thought possible. Today was one of those days. Our adventurous team is working beyond their limits. Richard reported the day starting off with a nasty 40km per hour wind, -25C, and serious whiteout conditions (imagine walking inside a ping-pong ball; you don't know what is up or what is down). After 5km, and 5 crevasses crossed, the team pitched the tent and called it a day. Simply not worth the risk. The remainder of the day was spent doing those "survival chores": fixing gear, organizing sleds, counting foods rations, mending clothing, and most importantly, sleeping. The team is in good spirits. Just over ten days to go before the pole. Ill post another update as soon as Richard calls in. More to follow. Tessum