South Pole via Kansas Glacier

Dec 19

#18:
sastrugi rising

Published at 06:00
Dispatch created from email
The La Gorce Mountains to our west, likely the most southern in the world, were covered in cloud today. They flank the Scott Glacier, first used by Ran Fiennes during his Transglobe expedition in the 80?s when he and a companion traversed Antarctica by snowmobile. The Scott was again used this year by a British climbing expedition gaining access to a mountain called the Spectre.

Our sky was cloud covered much of the day but the warmth was almost oppressive, we again skied lightly dressed, sunscreen and Buffs covering our faces. Around 2pm, the snow surface changed for around half an hour, tugging at the skis and sleds, reminiscent of skiing in heavy snow in Australia. As the sun descended ever so slightly it again changed the texture of the snow and hardened it sufficiently to return our glide to a more comfortable one. Such a short window of change is rare so far south.

Sastrugi (wind-formed ridges of hardened snow) are starting to appear more frequently as we head towards 87 degrees. Although we didn?t experience much sastrugi in 1998 when climbing Titan Dome to the west, we are far enough from its summit to be affected by the circumplateau wind that creates this notorious band of disturbance.

20km today.

Pics:
1. Heath striding out
2. Jade hauls past a giant sastrugi
3. Ming striding out

Eric

  • Name: Camp 14
  • Elevation: 2400 m
  • Latitude: 86° 4329South
  • Longitude: 137° 2349West

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