Queen Maud Land Solo Kite Ski

Dec 06

Wind, crevasses, slog

Published at 21:11
Dispatch created from email
A mixed bag today. Blue skies prevailed but the wind strengthened to 20kn, great for my little storm kite. Not an easy task to take photos while I'm kiting but managed to get a few keepers. It was such a joy to see the mountains grow as I topped each successive rise. At lunch I was 40km away and yet Ulvetanna looked 10km away, such is the optical illusion of Antarctica. 10km later I hit a big stretch of blue ice and that heralded a change in fortune, the wonderful white plains were now behind me.

A big crevassed ice hill had me kiting hard into the wind, just enough to reach a saddle and a reasonable descent to better turf. I managed to ski down the hill sans kite. At the bottom I launched my #9 and barreled across a snowy valley but the wind picked up as the ice returned and I swapped back to my 4, only to find myself out of control, careening into a small crevasse. I swapped to crampons and trudged around the crevasses on solid ice before reaching a field of giant sastrugi and I swapped to skiing for the last hour. Covered 63km, tired and aching.

I'm almost at the base of Ulvetanna, at 1420m elevation. I must be close, there's grit in my melted water. What a monolith, as are many of the mountains here. Tomorrow I'll continue to the west side of the range and set up a base camp for a couple of days before heading back. I suspect there won't be any kiting for the 165km return journey unless I get a westerly, but they're as rare as hen's teeth.

  • Name: Camp 3
  • Elevation: 1420 m
  • Latitude: 71° 4438South
  • Longitude: 8° 3742East


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    2015-12-07 08:03:46 Jose Naranjo says: What a view! Ulvetanna from far seems the perfect mountain. Take care mate :)

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