Reaching the first cache

Einar and the team have now reached the first cache of food and supplies that was planted on the way for them. The last day before that was hard, they had low visibility in the morning and the sastrugis became bigger than before. So it was a slow progress early on, but they worked hard and arrived at the cache quarter to seven in the afternoon. Total distance of the day (8th of December) was 23,9 km done in 7 hours and 45 minutes.

20141209_194954Camp 15 and sastrugis around

They camped and decided to dig out the cache the morning after. The joy of reaching the cache was somewhat overshadowed by an unpleasant surprise. „We found out to our discontent that the duffel bags with food where stinking of diesel oil or kerosene. We went through the whole number of bags, had a good look and are hoping that the food is not contaminated. In my regular phone call with Union Glacier tonight I told them to be more careful in the future.“

Contaminated food is seriously bad news but Einar didn´t really mention the status of the food after they had gone through it. No news are better than bad news, right? We assume all was pretty much OK in the end. The day after (the 9th) they continued and all seems good.

„So today after reorganising the pulkas and the new food, we left camp at 13:00. Really big sastrugis but good weather and we did 13,5 km in 4 hours and 45 min,“ Einar told us and they are en route again.

Camp 14 82°17’091 S 80°52’222 W (end of 8th of December)

Camp 15 82°24’371 S 80°54’809 W (end of 9th of December).

Click here to view the progress on a map

– bh

Past the 82nd degree

We were just receiving the latest info from Einar and his team:

“Hi. Yesterday started well with beautiful weather and moderate wind. We saw Mt. Goodwin for the last time. In the early afternoon the wind started to blow stronger and was very quickly over 20 knots. We battled against it for a while but in the end we decided that it would be better to save the energy for later so we camped early after mere 16,9 km in 5 and a half hours. Today we had good conditions and advanced well and did over 24 km in 7 hours.”

 ec70eff2-dab3-4358-846e-86d2b6b1287a58532977Einar to the right and, hmmm… who´s that 🙂

“We had wind from the south east which is unusual since the catabatic winds are from south west. Today was the first one without seeing any mountains at the horizon. We are now alone in this white desert. We have passed the 82 degree and we have only one day left to reach our first cache.”

6559031b-b019-49e7-9107-d2486214e6d9-284078144At camp 13

The team is well and we are all happy and of course we toasted to a new degree with whisky.
Best regards, Einar”

Camp 12 81°51’449 S 80°31’528 W

Camp 13 82°04’322 S 80 °45’526 W.

– bh

Celebrating 200 K’s

When things are going well, it´s time to celebrate. Here is a fresh email from, Einar:

“Hi. Last two days we have advanced well. Over 23 km each day. Today we also gained 80 m altitude after having lost a total of 60 m in last 3 days. Tonight we toasted in whisky for having done 200km. And of course we listened to music on Tims ipad during dinner. We are now at 218 km and 3 days from our first cache.

Weather has been sunny and sastrugis are not to big, but always there. Temperature is fairly warm now at -9°C which is much easier than the -17°C we had a few days ago. We still walk with masks and that protects the face from sun burns. Camp 10 81°29’617 S 80°22’681 W and camp 11 81°42’361 S 80°29’882 W

Best regards,
Einar”

– bh

Two days of good weather

After a weather day at Camp 7, Einar and the team got two days in a row with good weather and they of course used them well after one day of resting.

“Last two days have been good. Weather has been fine, winds from 4 to 12 knots, sunny and temperature -13°C. Yesterday we did 22 km and today [3rd of December] we did 23 in 7 active hours. Today we have still been seeing two summits to the west and I wonder if they are Mount Goodwin and Tidd. I guess the distance is close to 100 km away from us. All is well with the group, just few blisters as to be expected.”

ET_samanFine weather for the last two days

Camp 8 (end of 2nd of December) at 81°04’531S 80°31’070W

Camp 9 (end of 3rd of December) at 81°16’795 S 80°27’132W

– bh

Weather day at Camp 7

At Camp 5, Einar and the team had done 90 km in total and gained around 850 vertical meters. After a bit of a disappointing day, a much better one followed.

“Yesterday [the 29th] was a good day. We where on the move for 7and half hour. Weather started to improve and so did terrain. We still have sections of sastrugis and the day ended with a sastrugi area. We made 22 km. Camp 6 at S80° 41′ 982 and W 80°27’540. We still could see Ellesworth mountains and the three sails to the north.“

a07ae994-5931-4082-aa33-a73729ca5b91-1451239750At camp 6

30th of November was a bit colder day than before, -17°C and 12 knots wind. “We had a good deal of sastrugis and a lot of this famous sandpaper snow. We moved for 7hours and did 20,6 km. Camp7 a.t 80°53’040 S and 80°26’878 W. We still see the Ellesworth and for a while we saw two peaks in the East.”

c7113700-2848-4d2f-8343-38399867b5b7729732670A selfie from Einar Torfi 

Yesterday morning the wind was even stronger, about 20 knots and a lot of spindrift. “We have decided to have a storm/rest day and gather strength for the week it will take us to push to our first cache. We used the opportunity to screw the skins under our skis, read, listen to music and tend to other similar things. Every one is fine.”

ed5e86c4-232c-4ad5-8309-0499dfeb5118-615196700Waiting time was used to screw the skins on the skis

It´s great we are getting a steady flow of information from Einar about the teams progress. In general things are going well and the rest day will for sure just do them good.

– bh