Day 35–Riders of the Apocalypse

December 10, 2011 11:53am

December 9, 2011

S78°56.806 E028°51.625

Elevation 11317 feet

There is a sound the wind makes when it beckons you out. That sound I heard when I first woke up at AM. It is more of a grunt than a rumble and, combined with its distant high pitched whistle is an unmistakable sign. I hesitated to wake Eric up, and hit the road. But a quick estimation and I decided to wait until 05:30 instead: the wind has generally been building through the morning, which means that we’d put in a long day, in cold night conditions combined with the lack of sleep, and perhaps hit it just as the fatigue set in. I woke up three times after that to the same signs.
At 05:30, I poked Eric and said:”It’s on.”
“It sounds that way”, he responded sleepily, without missing a beat.We were on the trail by 07:30. By 09:30 we had covered our daily average. By 10:30, we had broken our first 1000 kilometers for this trip.

Our first section was remarkably smooth with consistent North-north-westerly wind. Looking over to my right, I saw Eric flying over the sparse lunar terrain and, upon looking down at my shadow and the ice speeding below my skis, I could not help but think of two riders of the apocalypse from some lost world in search of a civilization! The ice conditions changed and soon we were riding some wild bucking sastrugi-ridden rodeo. Perhaps fortuitously my iPod stopped working at that point as the ride required utmost concentration, while the legs absorbed the terrain like engine pistons. Three times, my sledge flipped over. Once, my ski caught a piece of ice and threw me off balance. I fell to the side at 25 kilometers per hour but kept my eyes on the kite and after being dragged twenty or thirty feet managed to pop back up without missing a stride! Later, I saw Eric do the same. The thing about kiting on the ice is that a fall doesn’t necessarily mean you stop. That kite is still going and with a little acrobatic you might not even waste anytime! The temperatures have cooled down some, and with the wind-chill factor, we were in for a long depleting day–10 hours, door to door…

We ended with 160 kilometers for the day over eight hours of kiting, and have covered 1098 kilometers since Novo. And tonight, I am exhausted!

13 Responses to “Day 35–Riders of the Apocalypse”

  1. Ginger says:

    I got the goose bumps just reading this. I”m so excited for you, that you both finally got a good day. Hope it continues for you too. Sending good vibes your way Sebastian!!

  2. “Thy Millennium Mile”… Sebastian & Eric!

  3. Katrin says:

    Finally!!! What a result!

  4. Andy Nutzhorn says:

    That sounds so thrilling! Thank you guys, for the great updates 😀

  5. Harald Golbach says:

    Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,…this Sounds fantastic i,m sooo happy to hear that , this Morning.
    Practice Works !!!!!! Sweet dreams to you and Keep going.
    “Don,t seek to Cut The Root of phenomena ,seek to Cut The Root of mind”( Guru Rinpoche)

  6. Eva says:

    Great news! Hopefully the wind continues blowing! Congratulations for 1000 miles! Good luck and keep going!

  7. Penelope Casadesus says:

    Ouf1 Thank Goodness! You needed the break! Maybe this one will last! You’re not bringing up the rib situation, so I hope that’s gone away! Falling on the ice at 25 kph is not a good thing for the ribs! The family is rooting for you! Got you your Christmas present – a miniature pair of skis (no! I’m joking!)!! It’ll be waiting for you when you get back!
    All love as always, your mother xxx

  8. Adrian Fiebig says:

    Your an amazing man Sebastian Copeland !! Keep on Rocking !! love ya Adrian

  9. BASILE says:

    You are priceless… From the beginning, I know you can do it! I trust you,,, you’ll find the civilization!

  10. Leila and Aidan says:

    Finally, the wind arrives!! That must have felt so good!
    Leila and Aidan

  11. Andrew Macpherson says:

    Great news, finally you’re on the move – hope the winds keep coming just the right way!! 🙂

  12. Nice to know that the wind dance that I did for you in Bali actually worked. At least, that is what I told D it was…

  13. Ryan Gentry says:

    Amazing and inspiring post. The visual of sailing across that bucking sastrugi is intense. Hope the ribs are solid and you guys have more apocalyptic riding days ahead!

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