Chris Foot reporting from base camp, Union Glacier: I'm rough at the moment due to not doing anything. The pain has really set in In the image, Chris at the Ceremonial South Pole January 5.
courtesy Chris Foot (over Contact 5), SOURCE
Its surreal how 2 days back I was focused and highly conditioned to playing hard each day, and now [at Union Glacier] walking to the canteen seems an effort; even taking a shower today stretched me.
courtesy Chris Foot (over Contact 5), SOURCE
Sundogs on the Antarctic Plateau
Image by Willem ter Horst (live over contact 5), SOURCE

Image by Willem ter Horst (live over contact 5), SOURCE
Antarctic ski wrap-up: Full white-out, large sastrugi and windy conditions

Posted: Jan 09, 2011 08:20 pm EST
(By Correne Coetzer) Speed skier Christian Eide encountered big sastrugi and a few crevasses in 87 degrees South. He and the assisted teams were in a full white-out. The invisible sastrugi, stronger wind and bitter cold made Eide decide to stop early yesterday and he skied his shortest daily distance since the start, 37 km (20 nm).

Hercules Inlet start
Unassisted, unsupported

Chris Foot (UK) solo

Chris flew back from the South Pole to Union Glacier on January 7 where is resting and recovering from the 600 nm / 1130 km sledge-hauling. I'm rough at the moment due to not doing anything. The pain has really set in and I have no problems declaring I am a broken individual as the thrill of skiing everyday to the Pole is replaced with inactivity bodily adaptations to food and sleep change and the realization it is all over. Its surreal how 2 days back I was focused and highly conditioned to playing hard each day, and now walking to the canteen seems an effort; even taking a shower today stretched me.

He is staying in a luxury tent at Union Glacier with a bed and touchingly each tent is named, and I am in tent Scott. The huge Union Jack is flying high!

Chris added in his last update that this was the perfect rehearsal for later this year when he comes back to attempt this return journey again, as the strategy was executed precisely how I wanted it for a return journey, so I know exactly what to expect and most importantly how I can maximize efficiency, reduce weight, enhance performance and tighten up nutritional requirements. Once back home it all starts again in preparation for Nov 2011.

He says he is scheduled to fly out of Antarctica to Punta Arenas on Monday, January 10.

Position: Union Glacier

Christian Eide (Norway) solo

Christian says he is working hard to get to the Plateau and hasnt slept much. He worked against time to get out of the area with crevasses and high sastrugi in 87 degrees before the forecasted bad weather set in. Sastrugi ranged from as high as a few centimeters to 3 meters.

A few days ago he changed his routine to sit out wind in the tent. This change tapped into his energy and on Friday (Jan. 7) he decided to ski less and sleep more. I am aware that it is not very smart to start the final spurt towards the Pole being tired, he stated.

Yesterday Christian encountered a white-out in the sastrugi field with no contrast in the snow. He fell over the invisible sastrugi and stopped early although he still felt physical very good. Poor visibility was also forecasted for today.

A day with lots of large sastrugi, windy and bitterly cold weather. Today I got the final proof that this tour is not a walk in the park. I have had whiteout, sastrugi as high as a house across my route, 10-12 m/sec wind from east, drifting snow and -25°C. It was cold - bitterly cold. When I finally decided to stop skiing I had only 5 m visibility and could hardly see from one sastrugi to the next. It was rather annoying since I felt fine and would have continued if the visibility had been better.

Distances: 48.4 km (26.1 nm) in 11x60 min, 40.4 (21.8 nm) in 11x60 min, 37 km (20 nm).

Stats Jan, 8:
Position: 87.8623S, 081.2020W
Altitude 2500 masl
A lot of sastrugi.

Hercules Inlet start
Assisted, Unsupported

Willem ter Horst (The Netherlands) with ANI guide Hannah McKeand (UK)

During the last miles in 88 degrees the team skied in relatively good conditions. Willem reported, There was just a fraction too much friction, else I would have called the conditions good out there. There was still the south-easterly breeze, but it wasn't as fierce as yesterday.

They also encountered the white-out that Eide reported about and Willem said, It still affects me a lot when I can't see a horizon and I'm travelling blind. Two more hours of whiteout and I felt like a wreck. He said he was slow, but when Hannah asked him if he wanted to do another hour at the end of the day, he somehow got energy and skied faster. The previous day Willem suggested that they ski an extra hour per day. At first Hannah was a bit skeptical, but in the end agreed and they made good progress.

Position Jan 8: 89.2412S, 083.9444W

Distances: 14.4 nm in 8x60 min, 16 nm in 9x60 min, 15.4 nm in 9x60 min

Gateway port Cape Town, South Africa:
To ALCI/TAC base camp Novolazarevskaya / Novo
(70° 4637S, 011° 4926E).
Gateway port Punta Arenas, Chile, South America:
To ALE/ANI base camp, Union Glacier
(79° 45'S, 083° 14'W).
Gateway port Punta Christchurch, New Zealand:
To US base McMurdo
(77°50'39"S, 166°40'22"E)


1 nautical mile (nm) = 1.852 km
1 nm = 1.151 miles
1 knot = 1.852 km/h
1 degree of Latitude is 110 km
Sastrugi are hard snow bumps and can be as high as 10 feet


LINKS:

Hercules Inlet South Pole
Unassisted, unsupported

Chris Foot (UK) website
Chris Foot (UK) daily updates

Christian Eide (Norway) website
Christian Eide Contact 5 site (map)

Hercules Inlet start
Assisted, Unsupported

Willem ter Horst (The Netherlands) with ANI guide Hannah McKeand (UK)
Willem ter Horst website
Willem ter Horst dispatches
Willem ter Horst Tweets

Indian Army with ANI guides Devon McDiarmid (Canada) and Svante Strand (Norway)
Team members: Anand Swaroop (leader), Bala Karthik, Arjun Kumar Thapa, Ram Singh, Khilap Singh, Tsewang Morup, Parsuram Gurung, Showkat Ahmad Mir

Other links:

CONTACT 5 expedition technology
HumanEdgeTech

Polar rules of Adventure
What is solo?
Hercules Inlet start point

Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE/ANI)
The Antarctic Company (TAC/ALCI)

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