Portrandolfo: He gave up on April 9th but went on on the 10th…

Published on 12.04.2010 - The big Nail

Michele Portrandolfo has now got us used to his virtually daily succession of mental acrobatics: one day, he's down in the dumps and thinks that he'll never make it. The next, he regains his strength and announces that he's going ahead... A funny way of doing things.

This time, it's an enormous channel of interstitial water that's the sole cause of his concern. On 06 April, he stopped his advance after only four kilometres under his belt, because a channel that he described as uncrossable lay ahead of him. It was 600 metres wide and Michele was afraid to try to cross it with only his wetsuit for protection.

The following day, he spent the day in the tent telling himself that the infamous channel was definitively barring his way. He told himself that even if he managed to cross it, the conditions of the ice on other side would be so bad that he didn't even want to have a go.

On 08 April, he fell into the water. A lot of snow had fallen during the night and he was caught out by a bridge of snow that was concealing some overly fragile ice. He didn't have enough fuel left for drying his clothes. He put up his tent.
On the 9th, after three days of dilly-dallying before the infamous channel, he decided to have himself picked up. His situation was critical. He was the prisoner of a raft of ice - just like the Sarah McNair trio. We sense - between the lines - the fear that was gnawing at his entrails. The pick-up could take place the following week; but meanwhile, he also ordered a resupply that was due to arrive shortly.

What was to be done?

On the 10th, he found the solution: to go on nevertheless, since he had managed to cross the infamous channel. And to cancel the pick-up. He managed to do ten kilometres, and as a result, he now thought that his expedition was completely achievable (apart from the fact that the ''without external assistance" aspect so hyped in the advertising was already off the menu). "One mustn't give up hope", he wrote. The Italian opera continues.

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