9 December 2011

Record Mileage!

December 8th update: Position: South 85 09.1 West 76 26.7 Distance to go: 291 nautical miles or 539km to go! Traveling in the Arctic is a slow process, requires great discipline and stamina. Good sleds are difficult to find. Sleds loaded with 100kg of gear can slow you down if they do not glide well! We are pleased to announce that Richard invented a new breed of sleds for Antarctica - this trip was the first test. These sleds have runners that are very similar to a cross country racing ski - finished with a stone ground base and many layers of glide wax. They are proving to work extremely well! I got a call yesterday from the team yesterday, Richard's spirit was very high. They had accomplished 32 km for 8.5 hours of work. It is very unusual  to be able to travel such distance in Antarctica. He has never seen a sled gliding so effortlessly on the snow with 100 kg of equipment! Good preparation always pays off! In Amundsen’s own words (100 years ago): I may say that this is the greatest factor—the way in which the expedition is equipped—the way in which every difficulty is foreseen, and precautions taken for meeting or avoiding it. Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. — from The South Pole, by Roald Amundsen Richard also wants to thank Recon Instruments For their amazing GPS/navigational unit that fits into your googles! When you are skiing, you have a heads up display showing your mileage, position, time spent traveling etc...! The unit is proving to work extremely well in poor weather! You don't have to continually pull out a hand held GPS and you always know your progress. It simplifies life greatly for navigating! The GPS micro optics display is proving to be one of the most useful tools for the expedition!