Queen Maud Land Solo Kite Ski

Dec 16

at the airbase

Published at 22:03
Dispatch created from email
I made an early start knowing I needed to ski over 31km today to make it back to the airbase. Like my first day, my last was overcast but also windy, chilly and a terrible contrast that made it difficult to look for crevasses. Knowing I wouldn't be kiting, with the wind mostly in my face, I wore my comfortable Baffin boots and took to my skis with Flexi bindings - my feet were trashed from skiing and cramponing for days in the rigid Scarpa telemark boots.

Lunch was fun with a visit from a skua, a very insistent skua that pecked at my boots and sled, attempted to get into my food bag and hovered over me in a ploy to harass me into a donation of some sort of morsel but I wasn't giving in, feeding birds in Antarctica doesn't help anyone.

Murphy's law prevailed - final day and poor vis and batteries flat on my GPS (couldn't be bothered digging out new batteries) meant I went the final 15km on dead reckoning, the base eventually appearing after topping a small rise. I skied the 31km in 8 hours and was welcomed in by base commander Oleg Sakharov and his son Serghey. A lovely welcome after my two weeks in the wilderness. I'm now holed up in a heated and powered container, dined and wined, pooped and elated.

As it turned out the flight back to Cape Town is now back to the 20th so I have three days here, recovering and looking through my pics and footage.

I loved this trip, the mix of mountains, blue ice, snow fields, kiting, skiing and the privilege of being alone and a bit wild for two weeks is a joy few get to experience.

Thanks for following.

  • Name: ALCIairbase
  • Elevation: 541 m
  • Latitude: 70° 4922South
  • Longitude: 11° 3847East


Notify this dispatch to subscribers?