“First signs of madness ?”

Published on 03.01.2012 - Kaspersky One TransAntarctic Expedition

A closer look at sastrugis

A closer look at sastrugis

© Expedition website

When she writes that, of course the female explorer is joking. Nevertheless, Aston is starting to feel serious signs of cruel fatigue at night. in Addition, her knees hurt, because of the sastrugis of course.

03 January : It's a cheerfull blue sky day but the sound of the wind makes me feel cold, lonely and reluctant this morning. Sastrugi, horizon and sky blend into one -making navigation very hard. The snow surface has changed again. It looks like someone has thrown tons of wet clay around and let it set. The rough ground and sastrugi has alerted my knees that they are working hard. Today they started complaining. Been having conversations in my head with the sun as I ski - first signs of madness?! ...bibble... Windy but gorgeous day with lots of lovely downhill at last. Covered 20nm, entered 86th and enjoyed myself.

2 January : Getting very tired in the evenings. Almost nodded off while waiting for water to boil. Looking forward to bed. Accidentally peed on my gloves which hang from my wrists on elastic. Not sure what kind of omen it is for the year.  Rough ground and no contrast this morning, the worst combination. Stumbling around as if skiing in the dark.

1 January : Happy New Year from Antarctica! Thank you for all the support and encouragement, it makes a huge difference.  No booze with me to toast the new year but treating myself to spoonfulls of the peanut butter I was given at Pole.  Call me paranoid but every lump, bump, ditch and line looked like a potential crevasse to me today.

31 December : Windy and clouds are lurking but the sun is out so I can see the ground - phew. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Clouds are gathering on the horizon. I've shouted at them to go away but it doesn't look promising. The history tracks on my MP3 player have got jumbled up. It gets a bit confusing with all the Henrys and Georges! The sun was circled by sundogs and multicoloured haloes this afternoon. I couldn't take my eyes off it. Sastrugi were tough going but spectacular today. Like skiing through a surreal sculpture park.

30 December : Entering the 87th degree today, notorious for big sastrugi and crevasses. Got to admit I feel a bit trepidacious.

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