Copeland has lost two sleeping bags !
Published on 09.01.2012 - Antarctica 2011-12 Legacy Crossing
Pair Copeland / McNair is enduring setback after setback -this time the loss of two sleeping bags during kiting! They nevertheless manage to keep covering excellent mileage, day after day... 228.5 kil on 6 January, for instance.
A world première !
What a story ! A world première without any doubt ! Indeed : who has ever seen in the Antarctic or in the Arctic an expeditioner losing one of the most important item of his all bagage : the sleeping bag...
Here is how things happened (excerpts of Copeland writings of 6 January) : "... ! On our next stop, I walked to my sledge and immediately noticed that the storage area in the front had flattened considerably. Could it be that the pounding had compressed the cargo to that extent? In quick succession, I realized that my front zipper was only partially closed. And almost instantly understood that the flat area meant things were missing! “My sleeping bags are gone!”, I shot out to Eric. “The zipper was left open.” Both my Western Mountaineering minus 25C bag, and the over bag were gone! The rodeo had ejected them out somewhere in a thirty kilometer stretch of this desolate part of Antarctica, where they now sat, in the blowing snow, getting half buried. “I’ll go back, and see how much Indian blood I have in me,” Eric immediately offered. Give him a scent, and he does have a hound in him. “It’s no use, let’s go!” I said. “It would be like looking for a pin in a hay stack.” In reality I was shocked. “It’s your sleeping bag, man. Unless you want to cuddle. Besides I found that camera on Greenland.” Last year on Greenland, he successfully backtracked a section to recover a small camera that had fell off the sledge during filming when the center column of my tripod had loosened up. With that, he wad gone amidst the blowing snow. I set up the tent thinking, of the two of us, he was the best man for that job. An hour passed. It suddenly occurred to me that, that morning, while riding, for absolutely no reason that made any sense whatsoever, I had had an imaginary conversation with no one in particular boasting that with three months on the ice, I had not lost a single item! Not once during the trip had such a thought entered my mind, nor is it a consideration which I have previously entertained! I don’t typically lose things. And here we were… How ironic. Aside from the bags, I also lost the first aid kit which is even more valuable to me now for the dressing materials of my toes. That, and ten days’ worth of Herbalife protein powder, as well as some lose bars. ..."
Pole is playing hard to get... even if they have no more than 80 kil to go
The question is : how without sleeping bag and above all without the dressing material to take care of his toes (let's remind that Copeland has lost already his two big nails) are they going to continue their expedition ? And without delay here is the answer : in three days (during 4, 5 and 6 January), pair has covered 540 kil ! That brings their total distance done so far to 2.500 kilometers.
Wich such excellent figures, the SP should not be too far away now. Maybe not. Because the last push seems to be quite hard : "... Winds were light when we decided to leave, and dropped even further shortly into our day. The Pole is obviously playing hard to get. We are virtually crawling there. It doesn’t help that our tack is straight downwind; this forces us to swerve right and left to keep tension in the kite and the actual distance we travel is a least twice what it shows. It is tedious. The sun was at the losing end of a struggle with the clouds, first parching its light across the wide open surface. ..."
Finally we should like to highlight once more the fact that Copeland has written some very very beautiful pages these last days. Read the day 62 for instance during which they kited like mads pulling their sleds that were bucking and bouncing all over the place...