A very cautious start

Published on 20.11.2008 - Expedicion Caixanova 2008

Maybe because she's a woman, Spaniard Chus Lago has made a more cautious start than the others. To start with, she wanted to avoid an area of crevasses that the other expeditions have had to make their way through.

Unlike the other expeditions, Chus took the time to sit down in her tent and examine the map carefully before setting out. Right there in front of her, on the climb up to Hercules Inlet, there was a zone of crevasses that is not necessarily indicated and that she wanted to avoid if she could. We don't know how many additional kilometres Chus had to cover to avoid this dangerous area, but on day 7 of her trek (18th November), she wrote that she was pleased to have been able to get round the hazard.

Although she may have been happy with her detour, she was also worried that she had conjunctivitis and would be forced to treat it while travelling across the ice. "Yesterday," she wrote on 12th November, "the clouds were filtering the light nicely and I took off my goggles for just a few minutes. The result is I have a bit of conjunctivitis!" And then there's one thing that Chus is missing more than anything else: not having a good cup of steaming hot coffee to enjoy every morning when she wakes up!

Having said that, the Spaniard is making good progress, although like the other expeditions now underway, she has to watch out for the katabatic winds that appear to be particularly strong this season. In her dispatch on 17th November, Chus told us that the winds were blowing at up to 150 km/h at Patriot Hills, which is the first time that has happened this season.

One very interesting thing to emerge from her blog is that every day Chus names her camp after either an Antarctic base, or after some event or other relating to the frozen continent, or after a famous explorer. At the end of her dispatch, she takes a dozen or so lines to describe the reason behind her choice of name for that particular day. On 15th November, it was the turn of the 'Belgica' to be given the honour. Please, Miss, we love it when you think of great Belgian explorers...

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