Day 7 — Arresting Landscape

November 12, 2011 12:34am

November 11, 2011

S71°25.974′ E010°51.487′

Elevation 4713 ft

After yesterday’s tense and stationary anti-climax, the early morning was marked by the gentle but persistent flapping of the tent. We filled up on a thick, plaster tasting bowl of oat meal. I spent some time fixing wires one of the solar panels, and soon the wind grew noticeably stronger: 16 knots from the east; good direction for us. We packed the camp and set our 9 meter kites. The sun was bright, without a cloud in the sky. The air was crisp and the surface much friendlier than the last weeks. We quickly moved up a few hundred feet in elevation. It is hard to describe the feeling of joy that each foot of ground covered with the force of the wind brings, in contrast to the back breaking effort of pulling upwards. Like someone said: even convicts don’t work that hard! Moving up revealed more jagged peaks of the mountain chain separating us from the plateau. The view was magnificent. In the distance, breaking from the ice sheet, sheer faces projecting vertically to the heavens, and a climber’s frozen paradise. The wind was pulling back and flying became a lot of work. We switched to the 13’s and still the wind was weakening. Speed dropped progressively to a crawl, while the direction turn to downwind. A lot of effort went into moving the kite in figure eight’s to haul the heavy cargo. But–you guessed it–it still beat pulling! Eventually, and without warning, the wind just shut off. The kite slowly drifted down, and delicately landed before crumpling like a limp jimmy hat! That was it for the day. It was 5 PM and we had covered 43.03 kilometers and beginning to cover some ground. Our camp site is framed by those mountains on both sides, and an infinite sea of ice on the others. The sun was still high, the air still, and the epic views are about as good as we’ll get them.

Today is our friend Kyle’s One Day On Earth 11.11.11 celebration. In honor of his effort, I took today’s image (unfortunately I can only display the one taken with the crappy upload camera). You’ll have to wait for the good one at the end of this trip!

Happy one day on Earth, everybody!


5 Responses to “Day 7 — Arresting Landscape”

  1. Shadowjo says:

    Sebastian…I would never be able to totally describe what reading ur updates does for me…since i was but a short wearing snotty faced kid I wanted to visit Antarctica…and though I did a fair bit of traveling in my youth…I never got the chance to fulfill that one and very compelling dream….
    A couple of years ago I applied for a position working on Macquarie Island…the closest I could get to past all the paperwork and was so existed until it came to the medical…and i failed it mainly due a deteriorating eye condition called Retinitis that was that !
    sometime life just get’s in the way of living !
    But reading ur daily journal makes me feel like I’m right there with u..and that to me is priceless..!
    So thank u my friend..I’m living through ur world now…and I love the world ur in !!

    I wish u both a safe and successful journey…can’t wait to see the pics 🙂

    with respect and admiration

  2. marc scarpa says:


    wonderful photo even if taken with a crappy camera. I’m hopeful you do not endure excessive complications with the sails as you did in prior expeditions. It seems from your posts that the consistent wind being a challenge and a priority to traverse the tundra, why not bring along a solar power fan!


    happy trials… literally.


  3. fernando colorado says:

    Man I´m so impress about this new trip to one of the most wild and uneal places in the world. keep going!

  4. Penelope Casadesus says:

    Happy Earth Day to you, Sebastian. I’m glad the weather is letting you get into the swing of things!
    Thinking of you as Paris basks in a lovely day of blue skies and warm sun!
    Love as always – your mother xxxx

  5. BASILE says:

    With some late, HAPPY ONE DAY ON EARTH, Sebastian and Eric ♥

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