Day 27–Work

December 1, 2011 10:57pm

December 1st, 2011

S75°56.553 E016°12.944

Elevation 11277 feet

I’ll admit that there are moments during days like today when I can’t help but think that there are more productive ways to spend your time. The measure of one’s achievement, of course, is not defined by the glory days–anyone can shine on those. It is measured by the result, and the work it took to get you there. And today was the work; like punching the clock, and getting it done without much gratification. Winds at this altitude are expected to be light. That is the way the katabatic winds work: the low angle of the sun pushes cold air down; given its greater mass, cold air gains velocity as it rolls downhill, pulled by the same gravitational laws that hit Newton in the head with an apple. And given our altitude, there is not much more to go up, therefore not a lot of speed for winds to gather. But considering how light the wind was today, I wonder whether we will need a miracle to get to the POI on time–at the very least more prayers!

We set off in marginal conditions but managed to cover twenty four kilometers during our first two hour period. Over our second, however–what’s new?–the wind progessively dropped, and we managed barely eighteen. That is an average speed of nine kilometers per hour–an average! In reality, the last hour probably netted about five kilometers, down to a crawl. It is like watching paint dry, but with some added discomfort: a lot of stress on the knees; the back gets squeezed all ways by the harness–does wonders for sore ribs; and perhaps the worse is the tedium tha reaps havoc with the mind. Unfortunately my iPod, which showed full batteries upon setting off, died the moment the kite lifed off the ground. This was my first iPod day–which would have gone some ways in creating a diversion. I was left with all manners of psychological self-motivation which today, I will concede, amounted to little more than some cursing at the wrong end of spiritual contemplation! A consolation: heading with the wind means the cold is less noticeable: at minus 30C, even a light breeze cuts into the flesh like a razor blade. As well, the sun was out which made for a warmer travel day. In all we managed 43.1 in four hours before the wind simply shut off. We have covered 590 kilometers since we set off from Novo, twenty seven days ago. Still a long way to go. I did ponder on two pieces of gear that make my life out here noticeably more pleasant: my Northwinds over mitts made by my friend and Eric’s mother–simply the best damn over mitts I’ve ever worn, thank you Matty! And my goggles made for us by REVO, polarized and with remarkable definition; the best lenses on the market. Even better, they don’t fog up. Out here, equipment can sometimes put a smile on your face. And today it did.



4 Responses to “Day 27–Work”

  1. Eva says:

    I love your post and your photos. I pray for good weather for you. Good luck from Czech Republic.

  2. Karin says:

    Do you smile on your pic? If yes, keep on!

  3. BASILE says:

    I join the wind prayers so that you’ll reach POI the 15th december.
    By then, continue to enjoy us with your posts
    Best wishes Sebastian and Eric

  4. Harald Golbach says:

    Hi Guys , Big gratitude that you Share your Journey with us!!!
    Always in my Prayers!! Buddhas are with you, At all Time.
    Cheers Harry

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