South Pole via Kansas Glacier

Dec 22


Published at 04:53
Dispatch created from email
Strong winds brought drift snow and the potential for mishap in equal measure. At -25c there is no room for error and exposed skin can become frostbitten in seconds, particularly if handling a metallic object such as a camera or carabiner. By now everyone has become quite dexterous with mitts on but lunch today for Jade was a misery. It was a good half hour into the next session before she could use her ski poles again.

We are little chrysalids on the ice. Cocooned in our windproof shells and headgear, todays conditions can be tolerable, indeed comfortable, if we are on the move and if we have the right layers underneath and all of our head- and handwear meshes as it should. Plugged into music its positively surreal, uplifting.

Once in the tent we emerge as butterflies, spreading ourselves and our gear across the tent, finding comfort in the smallest of things - a camp chair, a tube of Pringles, bed socks, a thawed wet wipe. And when bedtime comes we revert to our chrysalis state, cocooned in our sleeping bags, eking out the cold night in a dreamy torpor until the 6am alarm.

Happy solstice everyone.

1. Chrysalids in motion
2. Parhelia over our camp
3. Chrysalids in sleep


  • Name: Camp 17
  • Elevation: 2612 m
  • Latitude: 87° 1057South
  • Longitude: 136° 2122West


  • Report as abuse...
    2017-12-22 22:36:17 Eden Maxwell says: Apt metaphor and image 3 confirms it.
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    2017-12-22 13:51:41 Keith Tuffley says: Another nice parhelion photo! Question - you have 2 tents ... but do you have two cooking stoves, or one? Do you pass dinner between the tents??
  • Report as abuse...
    2017-12-22 08:37:15 Leah Jet says: WOW Eric, how remarkable you are! Love that your mythologising the 'conditions' into uplifting metaphors ;-) How lucky is Jade and Paul to have you, Ming and Heath/.
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    2017-12-22 05:27:52 cornelisphilips says: I notice the highest elevation of the trip, this must have some increasing influence on the temp level so close to the Soutpole.Keep up the good work,Jade and Paul,the end is nigh now
  • Report as abuse...
    2017-12-22 05:12:15 Joan says: Almost sounds bearable Eric, especially tucked in for the night. Looks so cosy.

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