20,3km today. Starting to put a little more in to it. Routines are settling in nicely. Still cold, windy and pretty. (Photo shows a nice halo)
Are and team :)
Another short message from the team:
"Hi. Still waiting in Union Glacier due to weather conditions.
The Twin Otter can not land at the Messner Start with poor visibillity, and right now weather is too cloudy.
Hopefully it will be better in a couple of days (friday). Stay tuned!
We received just a short SMS message from Are.
They are stuck at Union Glacier. The weather is not good enough for dropping them at the start.
But they are the first to go as soon as the weather clears. They have finished all packing and preparations, the sledges are stand by and now they just eat and talk and hope for the best.
Regards from Antarctica :)
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We are finally down by the sea, with all our belongings. Yesterday we first went down with the camp. Pitched it by the sea, close to the Conaf cabin, and the rangers that are responsible for the National Park.
We then had lunch before going up for the last load.
The route down goes on a trail in the rainforest a great area that reminds us how special this trip is. Where else in the world is there a huge glacier, calfing directly in the ocean surrounded by rainforest...
Today we where supossed to be picked up by boat, but wind conditions on the sea made the return trip too exposed. The boat is here in the lagoon, and we will go in a calm weather window tomorrow morning. At least that’s the plan.
All is good, we even have coffee now :)
We only received a very short SMS from Bengt today. Thay are down by the lagoon with all equipment, and waiting for pick-up. Considering time difference they are probably on their way now !
Another update soon !
All good here in Patagonia. We already took all the load from the mountain down to the trail head.
We are now in the same camp as yesterday and will go all the way down tomorrow.
We have another favorite tent place! We are now camped at the front of the San Rafael glacier. Here it is like the New Year’s Eve. The glacier is falling into the sea just underneath our camp. Very spectacular!
We went down the mountain with both our loads yesterday. Weather was even better than the day before. It’s hard to explain the beauty of this land right now, it´s like an echo from the day before .
Anyways, life is good!
We woke up in the shadows, but hiked out to a high point above the glacier and had a fantastic sunrise to our morning coffee. The rest of the day has been sunny and beautiful and the evening we spent by a bon fire, with thousands of stars and the moon shining on the mountain behind us. Sigrid's comment says everything: if somebody had made a painting of this it would have been too much.
We went up tovards the icecamp, and picked up our stuff that we left there two days ago. We used about 5 hours up and down to the camp again. After a long lunch we took the same stuff further down. We left it hafway up in the mountain and will probably be back there to pick it up in two days. Tomorrow we plan to bring the first load all the way down. Saludos from the Silverarrow expedition, which hopes to have a morning coffe above the glacier tomorrow as well.
Today we woke up to a "different" place! The sun warmed up the tent and outside is a beautiful winter landscape, cold and sunny without a cloud on the sky.
We started around 9:30, walked off the ice and up the mountain. We traversed in the hillside trough rocks and bushes. We sat camp as planned, here we have a great view of San Rafael glacier.
A campsite that on earlier years has been described as the most beautiful in the world, and this year is no exception!
Tomorrow we'll go back and pick up our load.
This morning we tried twice to get the first load on land. Wind and snow made us wait until the third try before we finally went. We got a beautiful weather window that lasted for 3-4 hours. We got pulkas, skies and the rest of the things we don’t need in camp up on the mountain. We got a very nice view down San Rafael glacier from the top. We continued down on the other side and found a nice place to leave equipment. Tomorrow we will go past this point with the camp, to the one we like to call highcamp. Next day we'll go back for the load we took today, and bring it past the camp and all the way down to the edge of San Rafael again. Plan is to stay two days at highcamp and then go down to the sea.
Today has been a lazy day. The wind has been to0 high to pass the biggest crevasses between us and "land". We found a new route out, that at the time was okay, but then the wind picked up even more and we decided to stay here and wait for tomorrow. We had a bit of a struggle with one of the tents when one of the poleholders broke in a high gust. Now the camp is settled good, and we have big hope to be moving tomorrow.
It is always nice to find land in the other side of an icecap. It means that the crossing it self has been done. But we still have a lot of work before we are done. We now have to walk on the side of the glacier down to the sea.
We had a wet start today as well. We started with backpacks and pulkas, walked for an hour before we only could go with backpacks. We left half of our gear there and continued down to the edge between ice and land. There we raised camp and had a big lunch before we turned around for our last load. At 20:30 we were in camp with everything. It has been a long wet day in “crampons” in difficult terrain, but everybody is happy.
Our expedition has finally got a name : “Silverarrow “
We had a lazy morning today. Well deserved after a long day lowering down pulkas yesterday. We came into camp in the dark at 21:00 and woke up at 7 this morning.
First we went up to the ice edge and picked up 1/2 of our stuff and went down to the camp that was on land. After a coffee brake we then went on land for a while, and back on the ice. We left the load there and went back for the last load. Then we went on with pulkas and crampons with all the equipment. Now we are settled on blue ice, close to a moraine.
We had a nice evening in the big tent as always, with Ole and Christian in charge of the music.
The team is a little wet, but happy.
Just a very short message from the team tonight:
" Long day. We did about the two first steps and have the first camp on land.
Go back on the glacier tomorrow.
Happy campers! "
It has been a third spectacular day of skiing in the white shadow of San Valentin's southern face. We took lots of pictures, while making good progress in great morning weather, with clear sky, no wind and a mild 2 degrees.
Picture fast climbs on glazed slopes, then beautiful sliding into enormous bowls. Space and freedom!
We then probed the entry to the San Rafael glacier, tested ice-screws twice and decided to cross tomorrow. Spent the afternoon in camp, resting, taking snow baths and organizing a little party in the evening for Cristian's birthday.
Bengt and team J
This day has been almost a copy of yesterday. Lots of sunshine all day long. It has been very warm, extremely nice with a great view of San Valentine the whole day. Our campsite gives a view to mountains all around us.
We started at 9 o'clock and did 7 legs and 18km in a straight line. We have been going around crevasses now and then. But mostly we had a nice hard surface, good for skiing. Our camp is on the North side of San Rafael Glacier, at the beginning of it. This area has more snow than usual, and we hope that will be the same further down.
All is very good here in Patagonia, we really enjoy the weather
It’s a lot about weather here, but when we wake up to a day like this we have to keep on.
This morning there wasn't a cloud on the sky. The glaciers hanging over the Nef glacier were absolutely stunning. Last night was quite cold, and the surface was hard as stone. The tents were completely iced in from the wet snow we put on the snowflaps. We used 1 hour and a half to dig them out. But on a day like this it doesn’t matter.
On the highest point we got a nice view of San Valentin, the highest mountain in Patagonia. We took a group picture, and as you see the self timer didn’t quite give Ole enough time to get in line!
We had a great dinner of Real Turmat at the end of the day, now we hope tomorrow can be a little like today.
This has been an amazing day from the moment we woke up and until we went to bed. Above us there is now a clear sky with millions of stars. Hanging glaciers are calving every 10 minutes, the temperature is cold and the winds low.
This morning we woke up at 0600, we reorganized to skies and sleds, then we started towards the glacier in dry nice weather. We found a nice path into the glacier, and got into the middle without too much problem. We managed to ski 3 legs before we set camp. At that time the area was quite foggy and all the peaks around us were hidden in clouds. After dinner and a couple of rounds playing cards we looked out and the weather had totally changed. Sky was all clear and we could see the wall of hanging glaciers high up to our left.
One perfect Patagonian day and the wet part is already forgotten...
This has been a real Patagonian day. With lots of water, a little bit of wind and walking in the fog. Everything that is not secured in waterproof bags is pretty much wet.
We started the stove a little after 0600 and had a long morning before we headed for the high camp. Our route up was covered in fog, but now and then we could see up high. We found our cache from two days ago in good condition, climbed up to our new camp and started drying up. Now we have everything up high and hope to have sight for getting into the glacier tomorrow.
We have enjoyed really good weather here on our way up to the icecap, but yesterday it changed and became more like the real Patagonia.
Yesterday we carried our first load to the upper part of this valley. Not far from the step into the glacier. We got rain on our way back, and since then it has been raining. This morning we had no visibility to the valley and heavy wind up in the high part. We moved the camp higher up in the valley, and are waiting for better weather here.
Spirits are high and the team is happy!