South Pole Emperor Odyssey 2015

Nov 30

#7:
ice ice baby

Published at 17:59
Dispatch created from email
A lot of snow fell over the last couple of days but today heralded a break in the weather. By 9am the skies began to part and the sun poked out, scaring away the wind, and so we drove to the Indian station, Maitri, from where we hiked down to the Lazarev ice shelf. The rocky descent was quite the challenge for Song, our 74yo, but he managed just fine, slow and steady wins the race! Reminds me of my two friends Lyndy and Heinz from the US who skied to the North Pole for a day with me a few years ago, both were in their late 70's. There's so much that we can learn about the capability of active ageing bodies and minds.

The coastal edge of the ice shelf is under constant pressure as it heaves against the shore and the ice buckles, bends and cracks, leaving fissures, gullies and seracs that are a mecca for cramponed feet. The opening to the tunnel was blocked with snow so we walked over the ice to the back end and entered the narrow grotto. Every shade of blue in the colour spectrum is represented here as you enter deeper into the tunnel, it's a pretty mind-blowing experience, like birth in reverse perhaps, just less messy!

Song powered back up the gully and we all arrived at Maitri five hours after leaving. What a day. Tomorrow looks good for our flight to the Emperor penguins.

Pics of the approach to the ice tunnel and naked Chinamen.

Eric

  • Name: Oasis guesthouse
  • Elevation: 150 m
  • Latitude: 70° 4648South
  • Longitude: 11° 5026East

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