A lot of pit formations on the way

Published on 09.12.2011 - Antarctic Ice Expedition

Going with the wind

Going with the wind

© Expedition website

Belgians Dixie and Sam thought they were done with the satrugis. No way ! Here they come again : carpeted on the slopes of the small hills of the pit formations which the duo meets on its way.

5 December (day 14) : 43 km, 6 December (day 15) : 82 km, 7 December (day 16) : 80 km and 8 December (day 17) : 20 km.

Progression : since a few days, Dixie Dansercoer and Sam Deltour encounter pit formations on their route, within which they have to negociate heavy sastrugis fields again. "For the first time we encountered a huge pit in the terrain", wrote Sam on 7 December (day 16). "On the downward slope into the pit, there was very little wind, almost none, because the hill behind us took it away.  Inside the depression there was no sastrugi but an extremely hard ice surface. Tricky stuff.  On the way back up, large and dense sastrugi joined us once more. We continued bumping among these wind-created snow sculptures until ... guess what... same thing, another pit formation.  Again slip-n-slide down in to the pit, climb back up, say hello to the sastrugi, and continue.  That same pattern went on and on for most of the day."

Health : Both men are experiencing some 'mechanical' aches and pains, but nothing serious. "... Dixie's back and Sam's knees are asking for a bit of extra care, and both expeditioners are doing everything necessary to take care of their physical health", wrote Julie Brown on 7 December.

Their relationship : Often in this kind of voyage, dissensions arises between the members of the same team. The expeditioners seldom talk though about that matter when the adventure is unfolding. But this is not a far cry from reality : it stays an important factor of all the polar expeditions. This does not seem to be the case here : "... Should it not already be abundantly clear, wrote Dixie on 6 DEcember, Sam and I form a great team on the ice.  We are patient with the weather, with the conditions, and with each other.  We take each work day to the red line, both of us aware that it is 'now or never,' and we often amaze ourselves at what we are able to accomplish.  We enjoy each other's company, and humor in particular reigns in our tent.  Ed Gorzynski's jokes are leaving us in stitches!  We like sharing our life stories, and when we tire of conversation, a game like Yahtzee has become a standard activity."

Sastrugis once more : All the antarctic expeditions of this 2011-12 season have so many difficulties with the sastrugis fields (and of course in our follow-ups we recount their problems every day) that if you type the word 'sastrugis' on Google Browser, our IPF website 'Explorapoles' is listed at the 8th place out of 441 000 results !

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