Pole to Pole Run with Icetrek Expeditions

Apr 26

Dispatch #28

Published at 22:54
Dispatch created from email
For such gluttony there must be retribution, payback, recompense. The
Twin Otter of Ken Borek Air arrived in the still cold blue around 11pm
and delivered us 28-days of food and fuel, more batteries, ski bindings,
Easter eggs, two kettles, a thermos flask, 8 cans of Guinness and two
bottles of vodka. No resupplied expedition is complete without a
delivery of vice. As starkly as it came the Otter departed leaving us to
sort, repack, eat and drink. We ate all we could and sipped between
belches and groans. Matty McNair prepared our food and we thank here for
the love and care she put into it. Clark and I just feasted on home
cooked lasagne, as did Jose and Pat we guess. To aid our gluttony I
declared a rewind of our watches by four hours, both to creep towards
Canada time and to give our stomachs time to sleep so that we might fill
them again. Slowly the payback came. As we slept, a strong northerly
picked up bringing with it bad light and blowing snow. With a southerly
drift of 500m per hour we minded not. But three hours after departing we
found ourselves in an area full of menace and foreboding, the epitome of
all that is unnerving about the Arctic. Freshly frozen leads newly
opened, brittle rubble, rafted ice, all coated in a rime of snow and
cloaked in a dank fog. After emerging from a rubble section on boots, I
continued on a small section of new ice. And so came the retribution.
With a stomach still loaded with fare, I advanced on the thin lead,
scraping away snow with every step to check ice colour. Step, scrape,
step, scrape, plunge. With no warning I was up to my bloated stomach in
the Arctic Ocean and scrambling for a nearby floe. Out in seconds but
both boots filled, mittens soaked, sodden to my belly button. Damn!
After a bout rolling in the snow to soak up the salt we moved on to
clear the area where we are now camped in the badlands, amongst the
wind, water, blowing snow and a hole in the ice that matches my profile.
Strung up inside the tent are all my clothes, slowly drying over the
purring stove. There was only one thing for it, fill my belly, and so I
did. The photo is of a newly opened lead we crossed yesterday. We
connected two sleds together to form a raft to ferry everybody across
safely, using the snow shovel as a paddle.
  • Accumulated distance: 380 km
  • Distance to go: 412 km


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