Had a phenomenally cool day on the ice. Skies are totally clear, minimal wind and sunshine most of the day. I woke up feeling the aches and bumps today, but half an hour into the trail the excitement kicked in and I let go of the pain in my mind. I managed to keep up with the lead guide most of the day which was fun as I got to understand more about scouting and planning the route which is perhaps the most crucial aspect of success to the journey.
The turbulent weather the last couple of weeks left a lot of broken ice and freshly frozen leads which posed a fun challenge to cross. We found a super-wide one, as wide as a highway heading mostly north, slightly northwest which was smooth sailing to ski on the bank of.
But like all good things, we paid the price for it as the lead eventually snaked around and headed west. After about ten minutes we decided to brave it and cross the lead over floaties, which are loose but large pieces of ice that sink into the ocean if you stand on them too long. We skimmed over them like frogs leaping on lily pads.
Every day I learn something more. And every day I learn I am far more capable than I expected.
During the last half hour of skiing, my body lost its ability to regulate temperature. No matter how hard I skied, my body just wouldn’t warm up, which surprised me after such a great day. I arrived at our campsite unable to think about anything other than warming up. My team mates saw this and immediately worked together to warm me up quickly. It was impressive how quickly clothes were pulled over me, a tent was put up and a stove started. I am fine now, but it just goes to show how much you have to listen to your body under extreme circumstances.
For dinner tonight Keith is testing a new creation: polar pizzas – an elegant mix of tomato paste, mixed peppers, red onion, chicken, basil, oregano, pepper, salt, mozzarella, and topped off with reindeer salami.
Gotta go eat now.