Day 37 So the climbing begins… again! Towards the Plateau

Climbing again

Yesterday I mentioned how as I continued south I could see the climb towards the plateau starting to come into view. It continued like that for the first 9km this morning… rising up like a gigantic dome, getting larger and larger. It’s impossible to tell distances here; impossible to tell height. A photo wouldn’t show anything as it’s all just… white. But the slight difference in the shading gave away the increased gradient of the climb in front. All I can say is that it looked big. And it hasn’t disappointed so far.

Full skins again

Before the climbing began, there was a slight dip in the terrain with a pretty messy sastrugi field. Some pretty monstrous sastrugi here and there, some of which I had to work a channel through, but nothing close to the earlier areas. It was good to have good visibility of course otherwise it would have been tough. That all faded away pretty quickly as the gradient increased and it became steeper. And wow, did it become steep! It reminded me of the climb out of Hercules Inlet, even though it wasn’t as long it steel, and my sled is half the weight! It was hard though. I had to switch back to my skis with full skins on as I just found myself going backwards!! There was a lot of very compact snow bordering ice, which didn’t help with the half skins either – just impossible to get any grip.

It was like that for about 5km or so, before it became a bit less steep and I was able to switch back to my half skins again. Definitely prefer skiing on them if I can as it makes a pretty big difference in terms of my pace. I still found myself slipping backwards now and again but it was fine.

1,300m climb to plateau

So, another 28km complete with 200m of climbing today! Only at around 1,500m, with the plateau at 2,800m, so plenty more work to come. Certainly pleased with the distance considering the climbing, though the first 9km did contribute to that (managed that in about 2.5hrs). Let’s see how it goes tomorrow. It is nice being up here – a final look towards the Thiel Mountains now to my northwest. Spectacular. I probably won’t see much of them anymore as I go tunnel vision when skiing and will hardly look around. They’ll just fade away into the distance and the remaining 500km or so will just be featureless and blank!

Ear Worms of the day

Ear worms of the day! Queen songs!!! It was quite funny at the start when I was remembering back to Greenland singing Bohemian Rhapsody with Silje and Joakim… then I saw the black shape of Mateusz a few kilometres behind me as I packed up the tent. Without connecting it at first all I thought was… I see a little silhouetto of a man……. And yup, that was the song in my head for the rest of the day! Oh and Killer Queen!

Photo – looking back to the Thiel Mountains

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