Next target for Bosch : a pace of 28 km a day !
Published on 13.12.2011 - South Pole 1911-2011, Two Men One Goal
Catalan Albert Bosch feels very lonely since his team mate Gel has left the expedition. It gives him time though to share some very interesting information, like the way he organizes the orientation of his march, for instance.
Orientation and making a pee
In this update, we highlight two basic informations related to all polar expeditions and seldom tackled in the daily updates, be it in the Arctic or in the Antarctic, and this time, utterly explained by Bosch.
First the way to find one's bearings on this immense sheet of ice : here are Bosch's 'antarctic odd-jobs' : "... Three days ago, when I was telling you about how I organized the orientation aspect of the expedition, I was going on about I could not go with the GPS out in the air while on route as it would die in no more than one hour. Meaning that I look at it every one or two hours, always checking the course with the magnetic compass. What I do is to look for a visual reference and go there. Once there, check the magnetic compass and set a new visual reference and establish the course. But what often happens is that I do not get clear visual references (clouds, Sastrugis areas, darker or clearer zones, etc...), y then you have to go checking the magnetic compass very regularly, and that means an important time loss, aside of the course deviations because of this that affect the overall day performance.
In order to solve this issue, there is a system I have seen used in other Polar expeditions. It consists of a Compass (different from a magnetic compass) in a round shape, that kind of floates and it always points the right direction, even in motion or in steep slopes (you probably seen those in some dashboards in 4x4 cars) . And they carry the compass using a system attached to their waist always at the front in order to follow the course without stopping. I did ask about the convenience of having that system, but I was told it was not worth it and I did not ask any further. But the truth is that I find it very necessary and I would strongly recommend it anybody doing Polar expeditions.
It is from here, a few days ago when I started to design an odd-job to use as compass the way I have just explained. Material needed: A compass, a spare ski binding, a good piece of aluminum I normally use for my stove to protect it when cooking (I have a spare one), american tape and a sling. As a result I made myself a type of compass (you can see it in the photo), which is not as precise when marching, but it gives you an idea of the course to correct it if I go off course, and when I go really slow or I just stop it shows the course perfectly fine and allows me to correct. ..."
Second the way to go to the toilet, what Bosch describes as 'the call of nature' : "...Everything is almost ready to get it out of the tent and on the sledge around 07:45 and 8 a.m. Then, a crucial moment of the day arrives: the call of nature. It is important to be well regulated at this matter and to be able to go to the toilet always at the same time, because believe me, it is one of the most delicate tasks here. It is fundamental to do it quick because the way of going to the toilet without putting down your pants has not been created yet, and it's delicate because of the low temperatures. It is complicated if one of your fingers get frozen, could you imagine the tragedy of getting the very personal male part between the legs frozen? So, I prepare myself as if I was to do something of high safety matters with a chronometer: pants only with the Velcro still on, toilet paper in the pocket of the jacket, and the pocket open... I'm on my way. I try to get out without the cap, the sun glasses and all... I even get out without globes, it takes less time and I work better. Normally it works out fine, because my body can be regulated easily in this matter, and luckily because it would be a nightmare to have to get up at night to go to the toilet or to have to do it during the marching hours. ..."
Bosch Latest datas
12 December 2011 - day 43 / Hours of journey: 9h30' - Accumulative: 239h15 / Km./Day: 30,6 - Accumulative: 515,9Km / Remaining to the South Pole: 629,3Km / Days of progress: 28 (24 Solo) - Inactive Days: 15 (0 Solo) - Total Days: 43.
10 December 2011 - day 41 / Hours of journey: 9h30' Accumulative: 220h15 / Km./Day: 22 - Accumulative: 455,7 Km. Remaining to the South Pole: 689,5 Km / Days of progress: 26 (22 Solo) - Inactive Days: 15 (0 Solo) - Total Days: 41.
09 December 2011 - day 40 /Hours of journey: 9h30' - Accumulative: 210h45 / Km./Day: 26,1 - Accumulative: 433,7Km. Remaining to the South Pole: 711,5Km / Days of progress: 25 (21 Solo) - Inactive Days: 15 (0 Solo) - Total Days: 40.
08 December 2011 - day 39 / Hours of Journey: 9h45' - Accumulative: 201h15 / Km./Day: 25,8 - Accumulative: 407,6Km. Remaining to the South Pole: 737,6Km / Days of progress: 24 (20 Solo) - Inactive Days: 15 (0 Solo) - Total Days: 39.
07 December 2011 - day 38 / Hours of Journey: 9h45' - Accumulative: 191h30 / Km./Day: 25,4 - Accumulative: 381,8Km. Remaining to the South Pole: 763,2Km / Days of progress: 23 (19 Solo) - Inactive Days: 15 (0 Solo) - Total Days: 38.