A very cold day
Published on 07.03.2007 - The Arctic Arc
Today it has been very cold, maybe the coldest day they have had so far. Alain and Dixie walked for five and a half hours and are now in their sleeping bags. It is -46°C outside, and probably inside the tent too. The windchill factor actually brings the temperature down to about -60°C while they are walking.
It is too cold to use the computer as the screen doesn't function at these temperatures. Yesterday, they had to warm it up in order to send a few pictures and a short film. Alain is very excited that it works but told us not to expect too much while it remains this cold.
This morning they dropped the Argos transmitter at 83° 05" 32' N 98° 38" 00' E.
The terrain is flat but moving ahead requires enormous effort at such temperatures as the body has a tendency to begin to shut down when body temperature falls. In addition, the ice grips to the sledge runners making the heavy sledges even heavier. The drift has also slowed down, but is still in the right direction.
They tried to use the solar panel today during the few hours of sunlight they have, but it did not produce much energy, so they are conserving the battery as long as possible for the Iridium phone. It is not certain when they will be able to fully recharge the batteries, as they have to wait until the sun reaches a decent position in the sky.
Alain is having problems with his thermos flask which is no longer able to conserve the heat more than two hours at a time. This means that there is no hot drink at the midday stop. Also, his frostbite is making it difficult for him to carry out routine tasks, but he says it is under control, and should heal in the next couple of weeks.
The total progress so far has been 134km, which leaves another 758km to the Pole, and 647km to Barneo.
- Position: 83° 12" 12' N 98° 38" 00' E
- Progress: 13km