Bad visbility, good progress

Published on 15.12.2010 - One step at a time

After a tough start, the pair Ter Horst/McKeand (client and guide) is achieving quite good mileage every day. This despite an almost constant poor visbiliy and the days of white out they encounter on their way to their next resupply.

On 14 December, the day 19 of his expedition, Willem Ter Horst wrote some interesting lines about the fact of being every day confronted to the famous white out. "... Today we were skiing in a glass of milk, as Hannah and Devon use to say. During about half the day contrast was absolutely nil, and I couldn't tell what was up or down, everything looked exactly the same wherever you looked. All was the same colour white. It drove me crazy at times. Especially during my third turn at navigation it got to me. I had been feeling dizzy for quite a while and keeping my balance when you can't see but only sense what direction the ground is tilted in wasn't easy. I had fallen, or nearly fallen a few times already and was desperately trying to find some point of reference. So I looked around and lost track of my course. The only useful point of reference is the direction my compass needle is pointing in, and I still have to learn to trust only that. Overall we didn't even do badly. We managed to 14.4 nm and are now at 83°31.4'S. Pretty good progress on a day I was struggling."

And he continues : "It must be said that Hannah's navigation and speed in these circumstances is very good and I had trouble keeping up. One of the good things about such a day is that my mind starts to wander. Ideally I would listen to music and the time would pass easily. My two music players have stopped recharging and played their last song four days ago. This gives me a lot of time to think. For now it's mostly been reflecting on what my life has been like so far; what I liked and what I didn't like. Sometimes I also think about this expedition. Why do I put myself through the misery of skiing 8 hours a day everyday? I've come to the conclusion that I appearently have a point to prove. To whom and what I am not sure yet. Maybe I'll elaborate a bit further in future blogs, if my thoughts become more coherent. For now I am happy to just reflect and look forward to the insights it will bring me. I haven't decided what I am willing to share and what I won't, but I'll get to that in due time. It's good to let my thoughts develop for a while. ..."

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