Magical snow flakes back lit by the ever present polar sun drifted lazily onto my tent this morning. It felt warm, almost clammy at a balmy -23C. The light was hard to describe, odd, almost studio lit, so perfect it felt unnatural?
Desperate to close the huge gap between myself and Novo, I ran out the 75m lines on the big kite. I was able to get her up, but the kite had to be spun madly to make any sort of headway and this was putting extreme pressure on my left knee and a pressure sore I’ve developed on my foot.
After four exhausting hours to cover a mere 25 km, I called it a day. Better to rest up for the proper wind Celene has forecast for tonight and I’ll go my hardest then.
The ice here is no longer shaped, wild terrain. As I have got out from under the shadow of Dome Argus the megadunes, walls, bowls and rippled ice have given way to huge open savannah like fields of tortured ice. A winter storm must have torn this place apart. From here for the next 400 km all the wind drains onto the Amery Ice shelf and the wind blasted Ingrid Christiansen coast. I’ll navigate my way through this ice and hope for smoother surfaces once I get off this enormous drainage board.
On the positive side, my living conditions have improved substantially with the rise in temperatures! Hands today were comfortable with only a thin glove, mitt and over mitt – no pain! Tent life felt warm as toast when the sun is side on to my tent, almost tropical!
I think the minus 40-45 C start I had was so brutal that now I seem to be fully acclimatised. It’s definitely a shock to be comfortable and frostnip free in these kinds of conditions.
I am 1900 km from Thorshammer, my Christmas goal was to be 1500 km for Christmas dinner, can it be done? Anything is possible if I have the right wind.
For now sleep, eat and wait to see when Antarctica will let me scurry forward like a tiny mouse towards home.