Day 10–Click Goes The Rib

November 15, 2011 10:12am

November 14, 2011

S71°37.497′ E010°39.330′

Elevation 5488 ft

Today started well enough considering it is shower day! Every five days, I get to use an anti bacterial wipe for a top to bottom scrub down. From inside the nylon area eight feet by four where we spend more than 60% of our time, this is in fact luxurious. The climate is very dry in Antarctica–contrary to the Arctic sea ice–which means that when the sun is high in the sky, the greenhouse effect raises the temperature inside enough to be shirtless. Not so in the evening when it plummets to more or less what is outside; around 25C below these days. The sun sets for less than three hours where we are, at this time of year. This means it dips below the horizon but the sky never goes dark; we are effectively in twenty four hour daylight. But the angle of the sun determines its warmth. Without cloud cover, the cold sets in around 5 PM; the tent begins to heat around 6AM. The night is spent in full face mask and eye cover.

Whatever I come back as if there is another life, please let it not be a mule! These animals do not get the credit they deserve, spending a life hauling things. By the time the game is up for them I can imagine how relieved they must be–probably coming back as a a coconut tree on a beach somewhere. Because hauling is the pits. Today saw much of it as we are still gaining elevation. And I’ll admit, I did ask myself a few times: “Wait, I’m paying for this?!” The views, however, are extraordinary. Nowhere have I seen vertical sheer rock faces in such abundance. Cut against the sky in the afternoon haze, they look like Japanese water colors.

My ribs are clicking–two of them. Which is a bit of a psychological headfuck. Mostly I try to ignore them, while administering myself an anti inflammatory every four hours while on the trail. Nothing inside the tent or I’ll run out. I am reminded of the great climber Voytek Kurtyka’s quote:”Mountain climbing is the art of suffering”. The same can be said about polar traveling. Luckily, I feel an angel over my shoulder, always with me.

We kited for a slow hour gaining four kilometers until the wind died, and spent the rest of the day swearing like a mule. We made 10.84 kilometers.

6 Responses to “Day 10–Click Goes The Rib”

  1. Todd Seligman says:

    Hang in there Buddy. Ribs suck but, there isa also nothing you can do about them besides tape em up or wrap them nice and snug.
    We’re all rooting for you!

  2. Bonny Diadhiou says:

    Hi Sebastian.. I am excited to see you are doing well even if you do not have wind which must be very frustrating.
    Sending you a big hug! -Bonny

  3. Sanni says:

    I love the mules 😀 Keep on pulling!

  4. Penelope Casadesus says:

    Why are the ribs clicking?? Does that mean they’re broken? Can you put a bandage around them so that it not only supports your ribs but also acts like a cushion against the harness? Thinking of you every day – I can’t wait for you to get back!!
    All love – your mother xxx

  5. Victoria says:

    It sounds absolutely beautiful but don’t overdo it!

  6. Marc Labonte says:

    I”ve hurt my ribs using a waist harness snowkiting on several occasion. Last year I switched to a climbing harness … saves the ribs! If you have one try using it…. if not perhaps you could fashion one from some extra webbing you have. Anyway , Good luck.

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