This amazing place really makes you work for every inch and today has been a real battle. We awoke again at 6 after an extremely cold night, I in particular had a rough night, I just couldn’t get warm, and add to that, I dreamt about being at the beach. So you can imagine when I saw it was 25 below in the tent I wasn’t the happiest chap on the arctic. I then checked the GPS and we had drifted back 8km, taking us further from the pole then when we started.
I had woken at 3am and heard the wind had increased and by 6 it was howling and still its now 14 hours later. We hit the trail and into the head wind and again by mid morning it was bordering on -30 degrees. My moods vary so much while skiing. Yesterday afternoon I felt like I could take on the world but it almost took me half the day to really hit my stride.
The sky had turned overcast and with the drift snow blowing in our faces it was hard to distinguish between ski and ice. Its these days all tucked up in your hood and face mask you feel like your on another planet.
We pushed hard all day into the persistent head wind and at one stage crossed our first newly frozen lead which was over 100m wide. It was quite scary at times especially when you could hear the ice below you groaning and see it bouncing as you strode across it. After lunch we came to a large grouping of pack ice and we had to remove our skis and haul our sled up and over these huge ice blocks.
By 6pm when we finally found a camp site we were all exhausted and glad to get out of the wind and anxious to see how far we had traveled in our 8 hours of hard work.
At times mother earth can be your best friend and other times you wonder what you have done to deserve whats she is dishing out and tonight I sit here wondering. While we were skiing north today the southerly drift had increased to 1km per hour and over our 8 hard hours we had gone forward 1.1km
I do admit we all had a laugh when we found out because hey!, what else can you do, we are not going to give up and tomorrow we will be back out there battling again.