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Expedition for Opportunity Travel Log 8 - Trek Day 6 - Cool to be Cold

April 18th, 2016

Expedition for Opportunity Travel Log 8 - 4/18/16 – Trek Day 6 - Cool to be Cold 

We start and end each and every day with a cheer and today was no different. At first it was just a nuisance that kept us in the cold longer than necessary. Now we really look forward to it. We each take turns coming up with a trick that can out do the previous one. It started on day one with one hand on top of someone else's hand in the middle of a circle, then over our heads, and always ends with a group hug. This morning’s cheer was absolutely ridiculous and can't be repeated. I promise to demonstrate it to you at the presentation.

I started the day by going outside my tent at 6 AM to use the bathroom and followed our ski tracks backwards assuming that it was safe ground. Boom, suddenly I was in a hole up to my waist. I crawled out and looked in only to see blue about 6 feet down. I didn't hang around on the snow lip to find out if it was ice or the Arctic Ocean. We are constantly on high alert and keeping your skis on is necessary for safety. We regularly cross fissures in the ice that are obscured by snow. The fissures come in all sizes and traversing them is one of the most common hazards we face. Later in the day I tried to navigate a 6 foot high pressure ridge with my skis and pull my sled over. Not a good idea. Pressure ridge 1 - Rohan 0.

Today the world felt and looked like we were in the middle of a circular ramp that gave us the impression we were constantly going slightly uphill. Somehow, the sun went from being only on our left and today it was on our right by midafternoon. Magical stuff happens here. I've got lots of cool photos to share at the presentation. You won't be disappointed.

The day got better as we trekked, Bobsled and I really started operating in harmony! We were skipping down the trail humming and enjoying the scenery all day, even when it got tenuous. I told her about Connecticut and she asked me if she can come back with me. Naturally, I said we would talk about it in Longyearbyen. I'll let you know how that goes.

The journey today took us through some interesting sights. If not for the frequent leads, holes, sastrugis, etc. I wouldn't believe that we're on the Arctic Ocean. Folks, I'm not hallucinating when I tell you that the scenery here is magical. It's too bad my phone doesn't work in the blistering cold. Today I passed replicas of the African Plains, the High Plains of Wyoming, vegetable gardens, North African sand dunes, moles hills, etc.  It’s as if the Arctic is trying to recreate replicas of things and places of the world. Totally awesome!

The entire team was feeling great and we made good progress. We covered 11 nautical miles and are now just 3 miles from the pole. We decided not to go tonight, since we won't be picked up until tomorrow afternoon. Colin and Masha who are on their way to climb Mount Everest as soon as they leave the Arctic were motivated to go to the pole tonight, but logic prevailed. BTW, Julia is on her way to climb Denali right after and Eric is on to his next thing. For me, it's back to climbing corporate steps/ladders.

Tune in tomorrow for more.

Rohan seems to have formed a great bond with his sled. Check out the video below to see some of the features that make these sleds indispensable tools in the Arctic.   

Going up and over a pressure ridge





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