“She sunk to her waist in the water…”
Published on 10.04.2007 - Mars North Pole Solo
Just as the other expedition covering the same trek, Rosie Stancer has had to face a big storm.
Three days in her tent and a good dozen kilometres lost: such are the results of the tremendous storm which hit this part of sea ice last week. The wind was too strong for the Briton to fold up her tent, and visibility was too poor for her to progress without risking falling into the water. Rosie therefore had no other choice but to stay in her tent and make a physical assessment of the past month's travel.
That said, she was forced to an Arctic Ocean dip anyway. This happened on April 4th, the day before the storm broke out. During the afternoon, Rosie was facing a lead to cross and had already done the usual three-hit test with her ski pole on the ice surface to check its thickness. Since the ice seemed strong enough, she began to cross the dozen-metre wide lead. Then, suddenly, right in the middle ... "With her trace rope lengthened to its full extent and the ice bending and creaking beneath her, Rosie was about halfway across when the ice gave way beneath her. With the world seeming to slow down around her, Rosie flung herself forward as she sunk to her waist in the water. She remembered seeing the pictures Jock had painted on her skis and it suddenly became immensely important to save the skis, Jock's skis. Dipping one hand into the water while the other hand struggled to keep her upper body safe, Rosie unclipped the skis and threw them to the other side. Then, spread-eagled across the thin and tortured ice, Rosie's months of dragging herself across football fields paid off as she hauled her body the remaining 15ft or so to safety. Pulling her sledge across, Rosie had no time to sit back and take some respite from her brush with danger; she had to get moving and moving fast if she were not to freeze ..."
Since her departure on March 7th, Rosie has progressed 91 nautical miles that is 168 kilometres.