Hours of journey: 9h15' - Accumulative: 153h00
Km./Day: 20 - Accumulative: 289,4Km.
Days of progress: 19 (15 Solo) - Inactive Days: 15 (0 Solo) - Total Days: 34
I'm very happy of today's 20 Km. as it has been a very complicated one, and when I got out of my tent I would have hardly bet to make 15.
When I got up, the thermometer indicated -16ºC inside the tent, promising a very refreshing day... With a freezing cold outside I dismounted the tent, put it in the sledge, and then just before departure, I was at -35ºC , even though, and with a bit of luck, a light wind, despite being constant and annoying.
But the most interesting thing wasn't that. The thing is that there was 0 visibility. I could not see a thing, and that has turned into a major problem during most part of day for two reasons: one, because it was very hard to maintain the course, and the other because I could not distinguish the relief of the terrain I was stepping into.You can see in the attached photograph the scenery that I have been surrounded by for the day: meaning...nothing!
In order to maintain the course I was looking at the compass constantly (As I only turn the GPS on every now and then to check the course and Kilometres, otherwise I f I have it on all day I would run out of batteries very soon). But as it usually happens, our senses adapt to each new situation, and in the end, I have learned to follow my course looking at the snow beneath. I'll explain: in order not to stop all the time to look at the compass, I have set a specific angle with the direction where the snow is combed, and as here always blows from south, the snow lines indicated South, and I calculated approximately the skis angle regarding the snow lines I was treading. This has allowed me to gain some time and kept checking it every 10-15 minutes. And it really wasn't much deviation at each control. I have learned something new.
But the worst problem of all was that I couldn't see the terrain ahead of me, until I bump into it. And that caused to get caught in some messy troubles quite often. I have fallen twice (reason for my title "can't see the wood for the trees"), and on the second one, it frightened me as I twisted my foot... imagine for a second that I sprained my ankle, at a fantastic speed of 2,4 Km./hour; what a joke! On top of that, I have knocked the sledge over 9 times (a record in one journey), and it got almost knocked over or stuck plenty of times.
All in all, a complete menu for today, but, at the end of the day, has not been so bad mileage wise. So, after all this, I feel up for it and thinking that I am picking a good enough pace which in good visibility conditions, I would have certainly go over the 22-23 Km.
Hours of Journey: 9h30' - Accumulative: 162h30
Km./Day: 20 - Accumulative: 309,4Km.
Days of progress: 20 (16 Solo) - Inactive Days: 15 (0 Solo) - Total Days: 35
Not much of a story to tell today. I'll say that, even I thought the terrain conditions were improving, today has been catastrophic, packed with Sastruguis and some I've never seen so incredibly high. I was fortunate that the snow was very hard and I could go avoiding them with less "stuck situations". Imagine then, that with perfect visibility I have done the same amount of yesterday ´s Km. where I could see nothing, investing another quarter of an hour.
After all, today I end the fourth cycle of 4 days from the 10 I have set myself, to reach the target of 40 in total of days of progress, not meaning to have arrived then, but I will be in the final stage. So, I have completed the 40% of that Sub target, and the prize for today, has been full thorough feet cleansing, with pedicure and manicure included, as I haven't touch them for a month.
With such clean feet, hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to have a great journey.