Day 3 – We’re finally off the ice fall and onto the ice cap. It was hard work getting through the never ending ice fall on the east side. There were crevasses every few metres, it was icy and hilly and it rained continuously on the 3rd day! It took hours just to walk a few kilometres, trying to navigate our way through the crevasses. We were on foot throughout pulling both pulks it would be impossible to have skis on here. We have passed hundreds of crevasses, cracks, rivers, open water and hills. We had to stop our pulks falling down crevasses on numerous occasions. Wet, hungry and knackered after the 10hr day of going uphill through an icy crevass field and happy to be on the icecap! Ready for another day.
Day 9 – Nothing comes easy. Since getting onto the ice fall, we’ve had 3 storms with winds up to 97kph and gusts up to 107kph, snow and whiteouts. Snow means soft ground and breaking trail which is physically demanding. A whiteout is like staring at a blank white wall in front of you so I’m constantly staring at my compass. We’ve been tent bound for the storms, we’ve dug in our tent and built a 2m high wall so the wind would go over the tent. Half the tent was still buried in snow in the morning so we then dig ourselves out. It’s been tough going trying to make our way to the summit but we’re not far off now. Every day we make progress and brings us one step closer.
Day 16 – We’re sat in our tent on our 7th day of storms on this trip, unable to travel. A few days go we had to make the tough decision to turn around and head back to the east coast as we would not have made it to the west coast in time. Weather conditions have been tough, snowfall and whiteouts make it hard work and it feels like we’re just dragging the pulks. We got up at 0100 this morning to unbury the tent which was half covered in snow and are continuing this routine every few hours as the wind changes direction in this snow storm. Otherwise, the frost nip on my nose is slowly healing (we hit approx -33 deg about a week ago), my nose is now constantly covered when outside! Hoping we will be able to move soon.
Photos courtesy of Louis Rudd (as Preet cant transmit photos back from the ice cap).