The South Pole no longer out of reach

Published on 17.12.2008 - Expedicion Caixanova 2008

Chus Lago has stepped up the pace, even though she has no real reason to do so. But now she feels that the South Pole is by no means beyond her capabilities.

It's probably the South Pole itself that is having this effect on her, pulling her inexorably towards it. Although the Spaniard is under no constraints and well within her schedule, Chus has begun to accelerate. On 9th December, she decided to break camp at 4.45 in the morning so that she could cover as many kilometres as possible during the day. The result was a positive 25.2 km covered in eleven hours of skiing. We should point out that at the time she was passing through an area of sastruggis and was a little frightened by the size of them. So she wanted to get through them as quickly as possible.

Two days later, on the 11th, she did the same thing again – this time deciding to set off at 3.30 in the morning, hoping to break through to better skiing conditions. Because not only were the sastruggis slowing her down, but she was also being hampered by poor-quality snow that was making it impossible to ski, with a surface like sandpaper. So Chus took the bull firmly by the horns and stepped up her pace. Her determination finally took her through 85 degrees south on 15th December, marking the halfway point between Hercules Inlet and Amundsen Scott base.

And now that she is travelling between eleven and twelve hours a day, her daily rate has increased as well. For the past few days now, her daily average has been over 25 kilometres. On 15th December, in fact, she travelled for twelve hours, covering a very creditable 29 kilometres!

Since then, the terrain has improved and there are fewer sastruggis. There is also less wind, although the warmer temperatures are making the snow hard to ski on and her tent-pegs won't hold firmly in the ice when she sets up camp in the evening.

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