The going is extremely tough, blocks of ice everywhere, walls of them every 50 metres or so. It looks like Stalingrad out there, and it is extremely difficult to push our way through. We have no idea how much further it’s like this, nor can we see far enough ahead to be sure we’re choosing the best route. Our visibility is limited by the darkness, and almost-horizontal snowfall reduces it further. There is a strong breeze from the west, and with temperatures of 25–30 degrees below even without the wind factor, this is becoming quite an ordeal.
We had to set up camp in a hurry when the heel of my right shoe came loose. Totally idiotic that something like this could happen! But it did. I successfully repaired it, sewing as well as gluing the heel securely in place. To be on the safe side, I did the other shoe as well, because a gap was already forming.
While we were tucked in our sleeping bags, some extremely cold air hit us – like a bomb. We shivered with every inhalation, our noses freezing immediately. That pocket of cold air must have been –40?C. Other than that it is –30?C, and that’s fine. But we have no chance of making any further progress in this wind. We risk frostbite almost immediately and can lose fingers as well as toes.
This seems to be taking longer than planned, and the weather forecast is uncertain.
Our plan is to continue – but safety has to come first. Our present position is N81?48’00”, E105?10’47”. Today we managed just one kilometre, but have already drifted at least three or four back. At the moment, we’re 916 km from the North Pole, but that is going to increase during the night.View 2 comments