To scale back to their original goals
Published on 02.12.2011 - TransAntartika 2011
Due to extreme furious weather conditions, the three basque climbers had to scale back to their original plans. No more climb of any granite peaks in sight and concentrating oneself on the main target of the expediion, the South Pole.
At the first place, these three basque climbers had a dream : while progressing towards the plateau, to try one or two ascents of the vertical granite peaks emerging from the ice and culminating 800 m or even 1000 m above the ground -these walls are found mainly in Sør Rondane, Queen Maud Land.
But, after not even 15 days of travelling towards the Antarctic plateau, they had to change their mind : the awfull weather conditions (wind, white out, crevasses, very low temperatures, sastrugis fields and so on) prevent them to go fast and within a fortnight they have lost quite a lot of time. On 27 November, they marched only 9 km, the next day, no more than 14 km which is not enough if they still think of reaching ALE/Union Glacier base camp.
Nevertheless, in their 1 December communiqué, they seemed to be more optimistic : the weather has turned good, the temperatures are not so low anymore and the terrain conditions are improving. They were able to totalize 21 km on 1 December. They still have communications problems though because with the absence of a bright sun they cannot recharge their batteries properly.
But so far, they did not cast doubt on their decision not to climb any granite peak on the way.