“Snow : like dairy bell icecream…”

Published on 04.12.2011 - South Pole Solo

Australian adventurer Mark George (46) has finally been dropped at Hercules Inlet : he started his trek on 26 November.

Smooth start

Mark George's trek has begun in a gentil way : the day after the drop, he had a 'not too bad' time, making 16 Nm in 7.5 hours march, and listening 13 times the song 'Thunderstruck' by ACDC.

But for the other days, 'Georgie' had to deal with an other story : the softness of the snow and other worst conditions. 1 December, he writes : "Snow conditions filled my head today as big struggle during middle of day as it felt like I was carrying an anchor behind me.  Then when the snow turned to glue all afternoon……rrrrrrrrgghh !". Two days later : "... Snow: Like dairy bell icecream – just soft ! The day felt like walking on the moon all day -in slow motion. ..." The same day, he gives his version of being in a white out : "... It was my first whiteout, which I was expecting and didn’t freak out but they are bizarre. You can’t see anything past 2 metres around you. It is easy to get disorientated about which way is forwards, backwards, sideways or downwards.  Your spend all day staring at the compass which is suspended in a bracket in front of my chest -normally you come to large sastrugi and you go around it, here you have to go straight through everything and have to be very very careful and certainly will fall if you don’t concentrate. The snow fell all day and it felt like I was dragging an anchor as the sled sunk into the soft snow far deeper than on other days. ..."

Latest datas

Here are the latest datas from MG's ice :

  • 4 December (day 9) : Camp: 81° 14.816 S / 79° 45.034 W/ Distance: 10.1 Nm (about 18km) / Time: 9.5 hours / Weather: back to blue skies and 15km knot head wind Snow -absolute slogg fest. 
  • 3 December (day 8) : Camp ss at 81° 05. 87 S : (made my first degree) : 80° 00.094 W / Distance 7.15 hard sought Nm / Time: 8 hours / Weather: complete whiteout / Snow: Like dairy bell icecream – just soft.
  • 2 December (day 7) : Camp:  80° 57.913 S / 80° 02.462 W / Distance:  10.3 nautical miles (19.07km) / Time: 8.5 long hours / Weather:  nice and crisp blue skies and wind moderate all day at 5 knots / Snow : terrain is crap.
  • 1 December (day 6) : Camp: 80° 47.657 S / 80° 08.010 W / Distance:  12 nautical miles / Time:  approximately 9 hours / Weather temperature:  -15, wind chill from 15-20 knot head wind / Snow:  good in the morning, ok in the middle of the day and glue at the end.
  • 30 November (day 5) : Camp:  80° 35.762 S / 20° 11.088 W / Distance from Camp 3 is 11.1 Nm (not happy!) / Time: 8 hours 45minutes plus some breaks / Weather: a lot colder, 10 knot winds in my face all day and freezing
  • 29 November (day 4) : Camp: 80° 24.799 S / 80° 20.821 W / This is from Camp 3, 12.5 Nm (23.15km), time travel 8.5 hrs, weather nice today, blue skies and light winds. Terrain variable and still very heavy snow, hoping for better terrain soon.


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