The wind was going bananas as I tried to sleep last night, but the weather this morning was glorious. Blue sky, bright sunshine, the slightest of breezes from the ESE, and about -20° C. By Antarctic standards, a perfect summer’s day.
At midday a bank of cloud scudded over from the south but it was no match for the sun, which dispersed it in a way that reminded me of my disappointment as a child when a drop of soap or shampoo would make all the foam in my bubble bath disappear.
As you can see it was still chilly enough to get a decent nose icicle going in the morning, but the wind vanished completely at around 4pm, and I skied the last couple of hours in a thin fleece, with my face bared to the elements (save for a decent pasting of sunblock) for the first time in weeks.
Naturally there was still lashings of non-stop sastrugi to traverse. The ridges weren’t as high as some of the monsters I saw 50 or 60 miles ago, but they were closer together, and it was a rough-and-tumble day out, and I amused myself by etching smiley faces on a couple of the biggest snow sculptures I came across with the tip of my ski pole. I also had the last laugh by chopping up a pointy, hard ridge next to my tent this evening and melting it on my stove to get my drinking water, with several chunks of sastrugi going into rehydrating my (delicious) beef stew.
Not a great deal else to report from down here. My GPS tells me the South Pole is 267km away, and all’s well. I’ll sign off by saying a quick hello to Myles, Billy, Charlie and Lily. Thanks for your note!