The GPS reading for our camp is N82?17’36”, E106?06’. It’s been just as cold as yesterday. We had to set up camp and retreat into the warmth of our tent after Mike started having problems with his fingers. I have lent him my spare over mittens, and hopefully that will help. Mike has frozen his thumbs once before and it’s a struggle for him to keep his fingers and hands warm enough when it’s this cold. The thermometer is showing –36?C.
The coldness is a challenge, of course, but all in all we’re managing well. Everything functioned perfectly for me today. After suffering cold feet yesterday morning, I warmed up my boots with small hot water bottles. When I get out of the sleeping bag, I put my boots and skis on immediately. We actually take down our tent and rig down our camp while wearing our skis. I notice that gives my feet good circulation and makes them warm from the very start. Today I haven’t had any problems at all.
It’s really important to keep our clothing and equipment free of ice and snow, and frost from condensing sweat. Each evening in our tent, we take more than an hour to brush it off of our mittens, our anoraks and face protection. That is vital, really. Especially the mittens, because otherwise they would quickly become icy cold and very dangerous to use.
We walked through heavy block ice most of today as well, after crossing a fairly open stretch early this morning. The ice drift is helping us for a change, pushing us northwards – and that is fantastic! According to the weather report, we can expect at least a few days more of this. We need every extra kilometre we can get. Today we walked 12 km, and adding 4 km drift, Mike and I are now 861 km from the North Pole.
All is well, except for my friend’s hands. We’re hoping for slightly milder weather, because our bodies really notice temperatures below –30?C.View 4 comments