We have walked 10 hours today and put 22 km behind us, leaving 172 km between tonight’s camp and the pole. If the arithmetic doesn’t quite add up with what I told you last night, that’s because we drifted 2 km south while in our tents. Even though it’s perfectly calm, we still seem to be drifting the wrong way at a pace of 0.3 km per hour.
However, the ice conditions are by and large excellent. We encountered fresh pack ice several times today and had to do a bit of climbing over it, but that’s really been the only hindrance. It’s colder than yesterday; temperatures tend to fall as soon as the weather clears up. This morning it was –32°C, but in the course of the day it reached –36°C. Much of the day there hasn’t been a single gust of wind. Mike and I haven’t had any problems walking, even though the glide isn’t great – but as soon as we take a pause, the chill hits us.
Today, part of the sun’s orb peered over the horizon for several hours. A bit strange, really, because it isn’t really “shining” – it seems more like a very distant glowing ball.
I am glad we’re no longer stressing to reach the North Pole in a hurry. I believe it’s truly important to have time to think as we’re walking, and especially to reflect on what we’ve really been doing on this expedition. We think about completing our journey in a good way, we think about the friendship that has evolved, the landscape we see around us – and not least of all about what has been happening inside us. For an expedition like this is also a mental journey.
As I mentioned, we’re not stressing to reach N90°, even though we’re putting in the same amount of time out there on the ice as before. Ten hours is a solid stretch and we really feel it at day’s end. But we’re not nearly as exhausted as when we were pushing ourselves to put in 12 straight hours; that nearly broke us. Last night we slept between 6 and 7 hours – a bit less than ideal. But it’s fine for now, really. We’ve gotten into a good rhythm with 10-hour days, and I think that is what we’ll continue to do.
We’re now at N88°27’37”, E87°02’20”. With luck that position won’t change much while we sleep. Talk to you tomorrow.View 5 comments