Date = 23/12/2017
Day 34 (Expedition) Day 39 (Antarctica)
Location = Twin Otter drop off, Depot. A
Coordinates – S87 58.846’, W131 39.578’
Altitude = 3021m
Temperature = -24C
Wind speed / direction = 10 – 20 knot ENE sunny / low cloud
Windchill = -40C
Distance travelled = 0km
Distance remaining = 1166km
Third Expedition Complete.
Wow, how a kite and some skis can change an expedition. After ‘man hauling’ up the broken, icy and cravassed Scott Glacier covering anywhere from 8 to 18km a day over 4 days, we launched our kites and the game changed. 2.5 days of kiting got us to our first cache saving us 6-8 days of walking uphill with heavy loads.
Following that an unusual wind direction and the freshly groomed American South Pole road allowed us to travel amazingly fast over 120km to our second cache in less than 24hrs. Epic!
We are resting up, sorting food (we actually have too much!), planning our route home and waiting for the wind to swing to the south. Which the Christmas forecast shows us promise. So we’ll celebrate Christmas a day early, then on the 25th, if the weather gods deliver, we’ll set off on our fourth expedition; to kite ski 1100 km back to Union Glacier camp and our flight home. It could take us 14 days, it could take 24. Either way we have time, food, and enough good humour bantering around, to get us through.
Antarctica isn’t finished with us yet and we‘re experiencing a ‘welcome back’ storm here at 88 degrees south.