by John Huston
This is John. Today we traveled for 6 hours and we covered 1.4 nautical miles. Morning temperature was -47° F. Evening temperature -42° F. Clear skies for the most part. Slight breeze but mostly calm and the breeze was out of the East.
Our sleds felt heavier today; I think that was mainly due to the increased friction on the snow that comes with lower temperatures. Our feet were warm. We slept warm last night. I think our biggest challenge in the tent is living in a very small space in a tent that has icy walls and that is because the outside temperature is so much colder than the inside temperature that only the top of the tent is dry as far as just nylon and the rest, the walls of the tent are just coated in a few millimeters of ice.
We snow-shoed most of the day. We had quite varied terrain from gigantic ice boulders, some of them 20-30 feet high that we just felt like we were in the mountains. We had a few fields of really tricky ice as far as it was really challenging on the ankles. We didn't twist any ankles, but every step was different for the first half mile of the day today.
Again, we shuttled our sleds back and forth. So we actually walked triple the distance that we traveled because we would take the light sled north for about 25-30 minutes. Drop it, walked back without any sleds to our big sleds. And then haul those to where we left the small sled and then we would repeat that 4-5 times everyday. Our food is tasting great. Our appetites have not really kicked into full gear yet. So we're eating smaller amounts than we packed, so that's good because we'll actually have more food for later. Breakfast and dinner pemmican is going down quite well.
It's really cold, but we 're warm. We're really happy with our boots and our clothing layers. It's just a battle with the moisture for the most part and it makes handling technology and everything like that a challenge because everything, even our little Swiss army knives has to be warmed up before we could touch them. So our pockets are full with little items that we don't want to get frozen.
It was a good day. We're both a bit tired. Our sleds felt heavy but it won't be the only day where that's the case. And we're looking forward to a big sleep and hitting the trail tomorrow.
Also, we saw the sun for the very first time today. I don't know, around 11 o'clock, it peeped up around the mountains to the south of us, just the top half of the sun. It actually made everything a lot colder because the sun heats up the upper layers of the air and pushes that cold air down towards us. So we're looking forward to more sun but the next week promises to be a bit colder due to the sun just barely touching the air. Then once it comes up for 12 hours a day or so things will warm up a bit. OK, thanks for listening and over and out.
Daily Expedition Data
Date: March 4, 2009
Location: N 83 10.321' W 074 02.344'
Time Traveled: 6 hr
Distance Traveled: 1.4 nm
PM Temperature: -42°F
Wind: Slight breeze out of the East
Total Distance to date: 3.1 nm
Distance to Pole: 413 nm