After a very windy overnight that woke us all at various points, we continued up the pass with a strong headwind for much of the day. We trek single file and trade off who leads each hour. The advantage of the lead is the best possible view of spectacular terrain. The disadvantage is the lead breaks the trail. Those following don’t benefit as one would from drafting on a bicycle tour, but they do have the benefit of telling the lead they are going too fast (here’s looking at you, Paul).
While we are all a bit sore and tired (despite 12 hours a night in our sleeping bags), we are in great spirits and remain mesmerized by our surroundings. The terrain is entirely black and white with a tiny bit of tan colour sneaking through. The valley is surrounded by mountains topped with a misty halo. We all appreciate the small patches of ice that are not covered by snow mounds as the pressure from our sleds is momentarily alleviated.
The wind made a 180 at the end of the day so we were able to finish with gusts at our backs instead of assaulting our faces. Even with the wind at our backs we don’t expose any skin to the elements. While we weren’t able to find a natural shelter behind which to set up camp, we built a snow block wall and piled up our sleds to protect us from the evening wind. We covered about 10km today and are all looking forward to a shorter day tomorrow.