Post 2: Days of storm and whiteness!
12.04.2011 – 5th day on skis
Since the last update, the second day on skis, a lot has happened: for example we have skied, slept and eaten and waited down a storm .
The third day started as any day: wake up at 07:00, at skis on 09:00 and seven legs (50 minutes skiing + 10 minutes break) of skiing. THe first three legs until lunch were pretty nice skiing in valley of Gipsdalen. After lunch we started the asent to the main glacier of Spitsbergen. This means some 1000-1100 meters of ascent. We managed to climb about 500 meters during the day until we pitched our camp with rising winds on the glacier. I measured energy consumption of 4950 kcal during the skiing with maximum heart rate peaking at 185! The weather got wotrse during the evening but was still managable, wind being around 9m/s. After the usual evening chores we hit the bunk… on sleeping bags, to be exact. It was still only some 5 Celsius and I was ince again sweating in very, very warm Cumulus sleeping bag. I’ve been screwed! This was supposed to be artcic stuff!
The fourth day started with a lot more arctic feel! Temperature was still around -5 Celsius but winds were bloving around 13m/s with gusts closing to 20m/s. Air was full of snow and spindrift meaning zero visibility. And being on å possibly crevassed Glasier that meant also a forced day of rest. Day was spent mostly making salad as our guide Vaiska said. We don’t have any vegetables with us so we opted rum. =) We celebrated Henkka’s birthday (which was on Friday but we didn’t let is slow us down) and in addition slept, ate, slept and tweaked gear (I think I’ll never get bored to that). At the evening weather was already better and we saw a blink of the sun!
The morning of the fifth day started in near white-out conditions with zero wind, jumped on our skis at 09:00 and continued climbing. We skied again seven legs compliting the worst of the ascent and pitching the camp at Lomonosovfonna glacier. A normal day of skiing with varying visibility, light or zero winds and slightly dropping temperatures. We saw some great moutnaisn during the day but at the evening we are once again in a cloud.
It feels strange to type with a laptop, back up photos to USB hard drive etc. while sitting in a tent with a stove and the middle of nowhere… Well, it’s great here. I just hope that the tempreatures would drop a bit. It would make some things a bit easier… Some 36 kilometers to Newtontoppen.
Tech is up and running so there should be photos on the official expedition blog!
All well for the expedition.