Such a lovely day today! Okay a little wind at the start but nothing too strong. Very clear and sunny – sun always to my back of course. Progress continues, with another 20.5km… a little less than yesterday, but good all the same. Not sure in kilometres how much I have done in total though the GPS says 123 nautical miles (very roughly converted that’s about 220km, but you’d have to check that!!). Most important now is that I am at S81 43’ which means I have 497 more nautical miles to go..! (Yay?!) It’s strange, while I am tracking with my watch in kilometres, nautical miles just seem to make so much more sense here. But I think my mind is just wandering too much!
Anyway, I was saying… not as good as yesterday…
While it was a beautiful day today, the sastrugi fields were about with a vengeance. The sastrugi are formed by the wind and in a constant process of creation and destruction. Quite interesting really and much more complicated than I know it could explain! When new snow falls, this all gets pushed around by the wind, and new formations. With continued wind and spin drift driving across the snow, the newer and softer formations are more susceptible to change, either by the wind itself or spin drift particles driving into the snow piles. The new sastrugi form and harden as the wind compacts them. So you can actually use sastrugi for navigational purposes as their patterns will be in alignment with the prevailing wind. The problem here where I am now is that we are getting southwesterlies and south easterlies. Add new snow into the mix so the sastrugi are forming everywhere with no real pattern. They are also big! So yeah despite Sir Sledmund’s diet, it is still tough to pull him through and over there! I was just glad there was good visibility today otherwise it would have been a complete nightmare!
There was also a lot uphill skiing at the same time, just to add to the equation!
But at least it’s nice and warm in the tent. It’s too hot to get into the sleeping bag even!! I do need to get some sleep though. Ah well!
For this journey I have my playlists and audio books though it’s strange: I hardly listen to anything while am skiing. Not sure why. I like the sound of the wind and I end up humming and singing various songs as I go. Today I had “oh what a night” in my head (forget the artist!); “sorrow”, Pink Floyd; the tune from the London Marathon and the music from Jurassic Park… quite eclectic! Keeps me entertained though!
Photo – a view from my door! Not really very different from other days!
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Visit Ben’s blog site to hear Ben’s audio diary from his overnight camp. https://polarweber.com/
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