Larramendi : The Perfect Storm

Published on 21.12.2011 - Acciona Windpower Antarctica 90°S

Staying tentbounded, one day because of the storm, the other day because of the lack of wind...

Staying tentbounded, one day because of the storm, the other day because of the lack of wind...

© Expedition website

Ramøn Larramendi and mates have been caught again by what Ramøn calls a "parfect storm". That's for the 19 December. The day before, they did only 20 km because the lack of wind. Bad luck for Larramendi.

On 17 December, two days before the perfect storm, they were surrounded by so many sastrugis during the daily progression that they started giving them a name : 'pilchards', 'good little trout', 'red mullet', ' sperm hale and skarks' ; because they all remind them of fish ona frozen sea.

Let's take a closer look at this "perfect storm". On 19 December, Larramendi wrote : "... When you read this chronicle we might be in a cave that we will have previously dug under the sled to shelter ourselves from the unceasing storm. Right now the four of us are up inside the tent completely dressed (even with our boots on), listening to the wind’s howl that has an intensity of minimum 100 km per hour. We are afraid that the tent might not be able to bear with its intensity and constancy. If it breaks or our only plan fails, we will have to go outside rapidly, take our machete and cut the strings that tie the stems down to the locomotive sled, throw out the pieces of luggage, build up a barricade with the sled and finally stay there until de weather gets better. To sum up with, let’s see what has happened in the last 24 hours, until we got caught up with the perfect storm."

"... Ignacio and Juan Pablo thought that the fact that the temperature was getting smoother was a bit strange. In a couple of hours the temperature rose from -35ºC to -16ºC. Even though they didn’t want to think about the inevitable, they knew a storm was coming…¡Another one! And so it happened. With no previous warning the sun came out. It was almost as dark as the night because the sky was packed with clouds. The wind rolled a soft but gale-forced wind. The sled became ungovernable and they weren’t able to see 3 meters ahead of them. They stopped and decided to build windward a wall with boxes so it could protect our tent. They woke me up and I dressed up. We went outside and it was nearly impossible to stand outside. The temperature was of -20ºC and added to the strong wind, the thermal sensation was unbearable. The wind with snow goes inside our suits through its cloth; and it’s so strong that it throws us to the ground. We can barely open our eyes and we feel a bit clumsy for being able to build up a wall, but we’re finally able to build it. ..."

We did not received any last position for the team.

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