Blowing in the Wind

January 7, 2016

The wind decided it isn’t finished around here. When I got up this morning, it was blowing steadily between 25 and 30 mph, with frequent gusts of 40 to 45 mph. The wind chill was between -30 and -40 degrees. I packed my sled, but left the tent up to see what the weather would do.

It is possible to ski in those conditions, but my biggest fear was in taking down my tent in that wind. The “repaired” tent poles are always on my mind, and they could break again if caught by a bad gust at the wrong time. The worst part of the day for me is when I have to deal with the tent!

So, I waited til 1:00 pm, when the winds calmed to a steady 25 mph. I quickly struck the tent and got underway. I was able to make 7 miles in 6 hours – 20 mph headwind and bad sastrugi! I tried to take a photo of the sastrugi to add to this post, but my phone instantly died in the cold (a little below 0, -20 with wind chill).

As of now, the winds are still blowing at 20 mph, with no sign of easing. Tomorrow may be another windy challenge. I guess Antarctica really is cold and windy, like everyone says. Cold enough that I put on a second base layer of clothing, and neoprene overboots on my ski boots. Could use a hot tub right now!