We have had a good day and are now 25 km north of our last camp. For the time being, the wind is at our backs, but it really started blowing this evening as we pitched our tent. That’s not good, because the wind easily pushes the ice around and opens it up. Well, at least the northerly drift works to our advantage, but we’ll just have to see whether the ice terrain has changed when we wake up in the morning. Anyways, our position tonight is N86?42’18”, E93?33’20” – which means we have 367 km left to the North Pole and are quickly approaching 87 degrees latitude.
It was more than 30 below when we started walking this morning, but at the end of the day our thermometer showed –26?C. It became milder as it clouded over. I took advantage of the “warm weather” to sew Mike’s pulk cover back into one piece, where the polar bear had torn it apart.
This afternoon we passed through an area of pack ice that was absolutely incredible! There were probably two hectares where the ice had been completely pulverised in a compression zone – and we’re talking about ice floes that had been two metres thick. In places the pack ice was piled seven–eight metres high. This was all quite fresh, probably only a couple of days old. Mike and I stood there stunned for a bit, immensely grateful that we hadn’t been here when those incredible forces were unleashed. I don’t know if one could have survived something like that. I’ll try to send some photographs so you can see it for yourself.
It took us an hour extra to get through the area. We backtracked and walked around a bit of it, but still had to cross a 20 metre wide area of pack ice that was jam-packed with blocks. Even though our pulks took quite a beating, they don’t have a scratch to show for it! They’re holding up incredibly well! The short design and factory’s expert workmanship have given us pulks that really function perfectly.
Today we have walked on many long, frozen leads. They have been several kilometres long, in fact, and up to a kilometre wide. A week or so ago they were open, and so the ice in this entire area must have been subjected to great movement not so long ago.
Now the ice has been calm and stable for some time, and we hope it stays that way.
Mike and I are cooperating really well. It took us a while to get to know each other. We’re two strong individualists who are used to doing things our own way. It took two weeks or so for the teamwork to really flow smoothly. But we’ve gotten to know each other’s needs, our different ways of thinking and doing things – we come from two very different cultures, you know – and we’ve become very tight and excellent friends. It’s working out really well.
We’re putting in the effort every day, doing our best.View 4 comments