Fine weather everywhere: it’s amazing
Published on 01.12.2009 - Kaspersky Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition
Our polar travellers have had some incredible starts to their expeditions this season. Having been greeted by strong blizzards at Patriot Hills, they are now underway -and the weather has turned wonderful. In fact, the ladies in the Kaspersky Commonwealth expedition can't believe their eyes...
We left the Kaspersky girls last week in the process of going on mini-excursions on skis around Patriot Hills to familiarise themselves with the polar conditions and test out their equipment. What we didn't know was that during one of these excursions, one of the girls, the Jamaican Kim-Marie Spence, suffered serious frostbite to her fingers during the night of 16th November. No concerns for her overall health, however, although the problem was serious enough for the doctor at the Patriot Hills base to advise Kim-Marie to head for home as soon as possible. So, exit stage left from the ends of the earth for this girl whom everyone found very pleasant. Nonetheless, the group has promised to hoist the Jamaican flag at the South Pole!
Having said that, the group (now reduced to seven women) has set out for the South Pole -this time for good. The women were dropped off at the Messner Start (82°26' S / 64°58' W) on 22nd November at around midday.
Since then, the expedition has had nothing but fine weather, which is extraordinarily lucky. And the good weather has not only helped them to acclimatise more easily to the conditions, but they have also made faster progress than anticipated. The expedition leader had only expected to cover 5 or 6 nautical miles during the early stages, yet they have been averaging over 9 per day (on 29th November, for example, they advanced 22 kilometres). Which means satisfaction all round in the evening under canvas.
Each day, in turn, the girls are writing a short report about what has happened during the day. The first major event of their adventure was the crossing of 83 degrees South, without any problems -despite the numerous blisters dotted around the ladies' feet as they sit in their tents after the day's march.