How do you feel after being smashed by 4 days of sastrugis ?

Published on 03.01.2012 - South Pole Solo

Mark George is furious because he thought that, once the degree 88 passed, he could await better terrain and weather conditions. No way ! Antarctica remains very severe this season. For everyone and everywhere.

"I blew up today ..."

Of course, as one can notice on the datas listed below, Australian Mark Geeorge isn't too far way from the SP now. He has maybe another 50 to 60 kil to go. But his rage goes on and on, day after day, because the improvement of the conditions he hoped for do not show up.

On 2 January, he writes : "...I blew up (exploser) today after lunch and called the Antarctica and snow every swear word I could come up with.
I was hopeful that after 88 degrees the snow would be good and I could have a solid day. In the end after battling through poor visibility all morning after lunch I found myself in a head wind, in a large sastugi area, in a whiteout."

"I couldn’t tell if my next step was going to be a 3 foot rise or a 3 foot fall.  I was so angry and frustrated I let it all go. Then after about an hour I stopped and had a laugh.  Took a few deep breaths and changed my self talk and just went with the flow.  Very Very slowly and carefully!
I am sharing this with you so you know just how your emotions can take you over out here.  It is especially frustrating seeing I am so close to the pole and days like these mean it will take an extra day...."

Mark's latest datas

  • January 3 : South:  88 28.055  West 79 22 868 / Distance: 15 nautical miles / Elevation: 2717 / Time: 10 gruelling hours / Weather:  extremely cold, really had to work on my fingers today / Snow:  soft snow all day but no sastrugi.
  • January 2 : South 88 13.259 West 80.88.199 / Distance: 14.5 nautical miles (recovered late late afternoon) / Elevation: 2671m / Time:  9.5 hours / Weather: Overcast, snow showers and whiteout for 3 hours / Snow: still sastrugi everywhere and impossible to see for most of the day.
  • January 1 : South 87 58.814  West 80 58.482 / Distance: 17.8 nautical miles : Elevation: 2612metres / Time: 10.25hours / Weather: snowy for most of the day then the rest ok / Snow: fourth day of sastrugi-hopefully it’s over tomorrow.
  • December 31 : South 87 41.416  West 81 50.560 / Distance: 15.5nautical miles / Elevation: 2492m / Weather:  strong winds around 20knots, visibility ok : Snow: sastrugi all day and snow very chalky and slow.
  • December 30 : South 87 25.736  West 81 50.854 / Distance: 14.8 nautical miles (ok under circumstances) / Elevation: 2417m / Time: 8.5hrs / Weather: overcast then whiteout then freezing / Snow: even sastrugi, sastrugi, sastrugi.
  • December 29 : South 87 11.162  West 80 58.709 / Distance:  16.7nautical miles : Elevation: 2272m / Time: 9.5hours / Weather:  getting colder the higher and closer i get to the pole – temp about minus 20 and 10 knot head wind / Snow:  Sastrugi all day except for a 2 hour patch.
  • December 28 : South: 86 54.514 West 80 51.746 / Distance: 17.3 nautical miles : Elevation: 2090m / Time: 10 hours / Weather: Cold and 15 knot head wind / Snow: again quite good but had two really steep climbs today which hurt.
  • December 27 :  South 86 37.270  West 80 53.556 / Distance: 17.6 nautical miles : Elevation: 1932m / Time: Just under 10 hours / Weather: 10-15knot head wind all day / Snow: Getting better the higher I go.




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