Day 47–Psychological Phase

December 21, 2011 1:00pm

December 21, 2011

S81°22.321 E049°03.220

Elevation 12072 feet

It is still as a corpse out there, and has been so since 13:00 this afternoon. It was quiet in the morning, and the wind manifested–weakly–long enough for a one hour section. No more. Hardly had we landed the kites for a five minute break that the wind simply shut off. And that was that for the day. We barely managed 14.5 kilometers. Luckily, at least, the fix job on the binding–part two–seems to be holding. Not that the speed we experienced today put it to the test, but it looks promising.

At this altitude, the winds are likely to be very weak. We are now out of the storm system that stayed with us for almost a week, and I have a feeling that, close to fifty days in, we may be entering the tougher psychological phase of the expedition: waiting for wind, and seeing the days burn by, without making the mileage. It has been tough to get a rhythm in for the last two weeks, and it doesn’t look like the weather will be cooperating soon. With only 126 kilometers to the POI, we can practically touch it! A distance that could be covered in one good day.

That section, as well as the one that will follow to the South Pole, was expected to be light on wind. We will get up if the winds manifest in the night. Or start skiing if we have to, perhaps more for the head than for the miles. There is only so much time you can spend in a tent without going cabin crazy–with or without chess! We have just had rice & beans for dinner, enough to generate a hurricane, even if only inside! Our spirit remains strong: we just pray for wind…

And now for the numbers: we have covered 1584 kilometers so far. There will be approximately 880 kilometers from the POI to the South Pole, and almost 1200 kilometers from the South Pole to Hercules Inlet. That very last section is notoriously, and without fail, very windy and riddle with sastrugi. It generally blows night and day, and we are planning on traveling long enough to cover 100 kilometers per day, with the hopes of closing it in twelve tough and final days.

So the focus remains on the aptly named Pole of Inaccessibility!

4 Responses to “Day 47–Psychological Phase”

  1. Joe Robinson says:

    I can not believe it is 47 days on the ice. I am thinking of wind and a fast track to the pole; even at high altitude. Your mind seems sharp and your attitude strong. Very impressive my friend. We think about you every step of the way.

    Safe travels ahead.


  2. Daniela Maselli says:

    You can always download something and play it online, or call your family. I don’t know how much access do you have to technology there, but anything will fix a boring day. Best luck!

  3. Bonny Diadhiou says:

    Hi Sebastian. I just wanted send you a big hello. I can only imagine the daily struggles. I am jealous of the intense commitment you always have to making the dream real. What does that silence sound like ..what does the night feel like? Everyone here sends you love and strength. Be safe & Merry Christmas.

  4. BASILE says:

    Be confident. Since now a solution has come for you
    I pray for THE one day,,,

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