Wednesday morning / Day 4: Yesterday was another very hard day as they continued climbing through the Triangle area and into Valley of Silence. Wind from earlier days have almost erased the trail from the previous expeditions so it was tough. But another 12km and 560 metres up mean they are nearing the end of the Axel Heiberg Glacier and a god day today may see then round the Engelstad Mountain and climb over the brow! It may, the wind is very strong with a chilling -30°C up on the plateau – so we’ll see.
Archive for November2011
Tuesday / Norway: Then the wait is over and the South Pole Jubilee of the Century can start! Today, 6 crazy guys from Snåsa left from Trondheim and Pernille and Jann left from Oslo. They met up in Paris for the long trans Atlantic flight to Santiago.
In Santiago summer will great them and Roman and Coco will join them for the last leg all the way south to Punta Arenas. There Børge and Bengt have been hard at work for some time to prepare, pack and organize everything.
Over the next days, the team will gather, pack, test and get ready for flying out to Antarctica the 3. December (hopefully).
SATURDAY: As they were left off, they did a short 5km trek just to get the feel of everything. The first day was used on enhancing details and routines. But ready for a careful, feel the altitude, first full day the weather hit them. -30°C and a full gale meant it was just too risky to venture out for skiing. So they were tent bound as we later heard several other expedition were on Saturday.
By Monday morning the wind had eased off somewhat and they were contemplating giving it a go. We will find out when they call in late tonight. The are, as Amundsen, following the New Zealand time zone, so reports will come at strange hours.
FRIDAY: Finally the wait was over! Igor and Victor was flown by Twin Otter from Union Glacier, over the South Pole and to Amundsen’s 54th Camp. From here they will start their quest to reach the South Pole at the 100 Years anniversary of Amundsen’s conquering along his route.
It will not be an easy task as they start at almost the highest point where big altitude, headwind and sever cold will mean they need time just to acclimatise and get up to speed.
The reason for them doing this trip alone is the very long delay caused by weather and technical issues. They had planned to start out with Christan Eide and the Ousland Team, but as Igor’s wife is expected to the South Pole for the 14th, they made the hard decision to break away and go alone.
By this they have shortened the distance somewhat and given themselves a fair chance of reaching the Jubilee in time, while still following on the ski tracks of Roald Amundsen from 1911. We will follow them here on www.Ousland.com
Thuesday morning/ day 3: Yesterday was a stunner of a day. They moved 8,4km into an icefall that took their breath away. Enormous crevasses decorated the area as they were happy to take a big bite out of this wild area.
Not only did they negotiate lots and very big crevasses, they moved from about 1000m up to 1560m! Jacob, Ottar and Trond did a superhuman effort in deepening and heavy snow as they took turn in breaking a trail.
Rory and Teo are the entertainers in the group. Teo, the youngest, is teaching Rory the eldest how to count in Norwegian. For this favour Rory has to carry Toe’s trash and do the cooking! – Somehow we feel we have not heard the last from those two…
Monday morning / Day 2: Sunday was another stunning day with very good conditions and weather. Though, as they got higher and closer to the ‘Skijump’ area the snow deepened. It was heavy going and after 8 stints ad 25km they camped out at over 1000 metres.
Some dived into the tents to relax (smart guys), some snow showered and cleaned up ( crazy guys) and some continued up without sledges to explore what’s awaiting them ahead (kind but stupid guys).
What they learned was that tomorrow will be a wild and very heavy day with big hills through dramatic icefalls. They marvel at the photogenic nature and are over the moon just being I this historic and stunning area that take the breath away from every explorer. – Then they all returned to enjoy camp and rest their legs for a big push on Monday.View 2 comments
After refuelling, the pilot on the last flight took a little detour and flew down the Axel Heiberg Glacier! In low altitude they got a perfect encounter with crevasses, rock walls and ice formations. Halfway down the found the camp of another Norwegian team and did a low pass, probably awaking the up in the most shocking fashion (can you think of a bigger surprise than a plane right over your tent in a place where there are absolutely nobody and nothing?).
Upon landing the five tumbled out brim full of adrenalin and just howled and running around. It was a very happy moment. And even though the newly arrived were desperately short of sleep it was never possible to stop any from harnessing up and start skiing.
It was a tremendous day in super weather with stunning backdrop as they moved into the Axel Heiberg Glacier itself. Distance 23,5 km and camp at S85.4126 / W 162.897
What a start!View 1 comments
Saturday morning: Brief update. Christian, Silje, Rory and Trond fuelled at the depot halfway at 2.800metres at around 18:30 Chilean time. And just after 20:00 did they land on the Ross Ice Shelf. The task ahead and Peak Nansen lay basking in sun. They were very, very happy.
Doe to the accident at Mt Vinson the other flight was delayed, but at 03:00 they were off too. Jacob called in just as the last pit was loaded onto the plane and him, Ottar, Linn, Gørild and Teo being very relieved had the adrenaline flowing. Now finally they are all on their way.
From when they land they have to switch to the New Zealand time sector which is 12 hours in front of Norway and 16 hour behind Chile. That is quite convenient. We do this as Polar Explores always want to have the sun from behind, that gives a better view, less radiation and you can navigate on the shadow.
Friday: News just arrived that the first Twin Otter has left for the Ross Barrier with Chistian, Trond, Rory and Silje. The second plane should have taken off at 16:00 local time but had to rush to Mt Vinson for aa emergency evacuation. It id not known when the rest will fly out, but we will update as wens arrives.
Fredag fra Bengt: Da er vi kommet frem til Coyaihque, det ble en lang og utrolig flott tur.
Rib’n kom halv tolv. Noe forsinket pga et bil havari..?!...
Veien inn til ’rib-havna’ er helt ny! Men for å komme dit må man først kjøre bilen sin til en elv. Så fløtes man over med båt. Her begynner den nye veien og her er det da en (1) bil som kan brukes. Den eneste på denne siden av elva.
Da Thomas kom ti dagtidlig konka bilen etter ca 3 km. Så Thomas måtte springe 7 km for å nå båten...
Båten plukka oss opp, og så ble det en utrolig flott tur i fjordsystemer som må ligne litt på Norge FØR det kom folk. Utilgjengelige landområder på begge sider. For de som måtte ønske en førstebestigning er det bare å velge, men regn med å bruke to mnd med machete for å hugge vei...
Ubeskrivelig, eller som Geir sa til meg på båten. ’Dette er et eventyr, altså!’
Vi skjønte alle hva han mente med det.
Denne turen kan ganske enkelt ikke beskrives med andre ord. Alle skjønner at et eventyr kan inneholde det utroligste, altså ting man ikke skjønner. Enkryssing av den nordlige icecap’n i Patagonia, kan kun forstås om man har gjort det. Vi har som Geir sier, levd i et eventyr i 17 dager, og det tar nok 17 år å fordøye dette...
Etter båtturen var vi spente på om bilen var klar, det var den ikke...
Det ble med andre ord 7 km på beina. Etter en del mekking på bilen ble løsningen en god gammel rullestart, 5 personer som dytter, og en som slipper cluchen på riktig tid... Bilen starta, men gikk bare på 3 sylindre, uansett nok til å få oss bort til elvekrysingen.
Jeg sa vel at veien var ny derfra...? Noe som betyr at grusen er elvegrus, som inneholder en del kvasse stener... Så for å gjøre en lang historie kort er vi nå tilbake, og mye bede på å skifte dekk.
I Patagonia er ikke turen over før man er på flyet hjem...
Tusen Takk for oss, vi er enige med Børge, dette overgår alt!