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Summit Team Building

Antarctica Update: December 9

Update posted on Mountain Professionals website written by Scott.

photo 1A day of hard pulling. I thought snow was supposed to be slippery.

The day started like any other. Wake at 6 and start the stove. Poke head outside for weather forecast. Sunny, a few clouds, crisp but not cold, and just enough wind to keep us from overheating. Eat breakfast (oatmeal again), pack, put on boots and jacket, then out of tent to pack sled and take down tent. On skis for 7:51 ready to go.

Within the first minute we knew we were in for a tough day. We had a dusting of snow last night and the snow here in Antarctica is cold and dry with very sharp crystals. Pulling a heavy sled is a lot of work at any rate, but add in additional obstacles and it becomes grueling.

Today we had uphill, drifting snow and sastrugi to contend with plus this new antiglide snow. The science of sliding works this way: as a ski or sled moves across the snow the friction creates heat and this rounds and melts the snow crystals creating a thin film of water that creates glide. Here the snow is so cold and dry there is no meting and the crystals are so sharp and tough they dig into our skis and sled at every step and create a glide similar to sandpaper.

We pushed through, feeling the harness dig into hips and shoulders as we leaned into every step. In the end we made 12.2 Nautical Miles (about 22km) which was very respectable considering the terrain. We are now camped in a beautiful location and the sun is shining as we recover and get ready to do it all again tomorrow.

Summit Team Building

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