Location: south 89.43.717, west 83.17.894
We did 8.6 nautical miles today.
When we woke up it was actually really, really cold but the sun was out was a little bit and as the day wore on we saw all kinds of everything. We had increasing wind. We had snow. We had overcast skies across the horizon, and then as we came to camp the sun came back again.
As Michel and I were walking back the last little bit into camp, all of a sudden we felt the earth move and as Keith explained it to me, it was like a horizontal avalanche because different layers of snow underneath the top crust that had just collapsed. We could hear it and we could actually feel the motion. Apparently this is quite common and absolutely nothing to be worried about.
Weather got me thinking… In 2006, we were unavoidably detained in Punta Arenas, which impacted our ability to successfully climb Vinson. This was because of weather. In 2008 in Nepal, we had monsoon-style rain. Which threatened to flood the camp off the mountain. In 2010 at the North Pole, we were pinned down for 60 hours because of the weather.
We’ve been remarkably lucky with on this trip with weather. Despite having some changes, for the most part it hasn’t affected our travel.
I think there’s really one thing different about this trip than all other trips… That’s Diego. I have decided he is a good weather magnet and he clearly is a good luck weather charm and as a result, the Test Your Limits team is not letting him go.
The last couple of days have been a little bit challenging for me. I had a cold and then into bronchitis. I haven’t talked about it because I didn’t want to upset my parents. But I’m definitely getting better so I thought I would go back and retrace the last couple of days.
About two days ago, Michel offered to take some of my gear. He exchanged about 20 to 25 pounds of my gear for some lighter aspects of his gear. And Dale, Diego and Michel did some shifting of their group tent gear and as a result, I was able to lighten my sled substantially, which made it remarkably easier for me over these last few days. I’m not actually certain I would have been able to do the last few days without that help.
As a result, I have a huge shout out to my burley boys Keith, my tent mate, Dale, Diego and Michel, who, for a number of days have taken more than their share to help me.
It really feels real. Everybody’s sense is that we’re actually, potentially going to achieve the pole in two days with the distance we’ve put in, if the weather holds and we have no unexpected surprises.
This is incredibly exciting for everybody. You could really, palpably feel the excitement at camp today.