She is skating rather than skiing
Published on 07.12.2011 - Kaspersky One TransAntarctic Expedition
In her last audio transmission, Felicity Aston was glad to announce than this morning, 7 December, the weather suddenly improved. The terrain also has become firmer.
On 5 December, F. Aston was five days dehind schedule.
As soon as we was dropped at the botton Heverett glacier, she was 'swallowed' by as storm. And in our last Aston's update, we have written that a bad weather seemed to stalk Felicity. But since then, the conditions slowly improved. On 4 December, she was able cover 12 Nm; but the next day she wrote that "the twists in my route to avoid potential crevasse areas have added 45 Nm to my journey -that's 3 extra days skiing..." !
Excerpts of the 5 December communiqué : "Felicity Aston finally made it to her starting position, the Ross Ice Shelf, last Friday after weeks of weather-related delays. She spent her first day skiing under clear blue skies while admiring snow-capped mountains in the distance. Although the good weather continued into the next day, Tuesday saw things take a turn for the worse as Felicity began the upward trek on the Leverett Glacier with extremely strong winds affecting her sleep at night and travel speed during the day. A few good days let her gain more ground towards the end of her first full week (approx 20km per day) but bad weather towards the end of the weekend has left her behind schedule. The frustration of not gaining as much ground as she would have liked was evident, but this week Felicity hopes the weather will let her get a lot closer to her next major milestone – the South Pole! ..."
Two days later, on 7 December, the weather turned quite OK. Although the wind was blowing up and down all day, she has been able to travel on the surface. And probably because of the heavy gales, the terrain was suddenly much harder to ski on. Actually she had the imprression of skating rather than skiing. The result was that that day, she has done 14.6 Nm, her personal best.
She still has another 190 Nm miles though to reach the South Pole.