A chosen detour

Published 04.07 in category In the Footsteps of Nansen

Yes, it’s the 4th of July now, Day 64 of our expedition “In the Footsteps of Nansen” across Frants Josef Land. Our position is now N80˚57’, E54˚53’.

As the map-readers amongst you suspect, we didn’t cover a lot of ground today. We’re changing our day rhythm and keeping a comfortable pace. Thomas and I are travelling more and more at night, when it’s frosty and there is a thin layer of ice on top of the snow. There is a lot of water on ice floes and glaciers, and on warm days we sink deep down into the snow. At nighttime, our skis carry us far better. That’s why we think we’re making a good choice to walk at night and sleep during the day.

We’re still on Salisbury Island, but further to the east and closer to the fjord than we were yesterday. We decided to go around Luigi Island. It’s really an impressive sight, with an ice cap that’s really exposed to the elements. Through our binoculars yesterday, we could see the twisted pack ice around that cap. The detour meant 14–15 km of paddling – but that’s a far better choice than getting stuck in pack ice, surrounded by glacier fronts and sheer mountain walls. We definitely didn’t want to cross that island after seeing satellite photos that clearly showed the drastic elevation changes, glaciers and wide crevasses. Both of us had more than enough of that yesterday!

That’s why we’re moving east instead, circling the eastern shore and gradually heading south. There is good, firm fjord ice here. Tomorrow we’ll continue our nocturnal stroll.



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