November 20, 2014
S 83°15′ , O 69°00′
Distance: 120 km
T° : -15°C (windchill: -24°C)
D7 – Report of week 1
We have now been on the ice for one week.
We left Union Glacier on November 14 with a Twin Otter flight to Messner start. There, when the Twin Otter left us, we were alone in the middle of Antarctica and expedition really started.
The first week is no so much about the distance you cover, but rather working on the organization of the day, the tent, the breaks, etc. We progressively increased the hours of ski every day, starting with 4 hours on day 1 and now up to almost 8 hours as from day 6. We will try as much as possible to keep this schedule and will possibly do 9 or 10 hours those days when the weather will be good (that is no too cold and no wind).
We were lucky so far that the weather was rather nice. Down to -34°C on Day 1 with no wind, and then temperature increased to -15°C with a windchill of -25°C due to 10 to 15 m/s wind. The week has been mostly sunny, except for Day 6 which was mostly white out with a very reduced visibility (5 to 10 meters) so that it was not so easy to navigate.
At this stage, the agenda is as follows : wake up at 6.30am to melt water for the days and have breakfast. Put down the tent and start skiing at 9am (4 hours of ski in the morning, then lunch break, then 4 hours of ski in the afternoon, with a 10 minute break after each hour of ski). Back in the tent the evening around 7pm for 2 hours of melting water, diner, blog and then sleep ! And again, and again…
We are very enthusiastic so far about the progress of the expedition and how it is moving forward. As long as the weather conditions are good enough and health as well, then everything is possible.
Lunch break of Day 7 was somehow different as we made an interview for France Bleue with Nicolas Vanier – it was great to discuss with him, especially as he knows very well what we are going through with this expedition.