We had our first full day skiing. We departed at 9:30am and stopped at 6pm, covering about 10 miles but netting 8.5 miles due to a southwest drift. The wind stopped by late afternoon, so we are hoping not to lose much distance overnight. Last night we lost 0.6 miles overnight, which isn't too bad given the conditions we expected. In total we have skied just under 12 miles so far and netted 9.5.
Today was a day of huge learning about what will define the success of this expedition. The real challenge is nothing like anything I had experienced during my training. My legs are strong, my endurance level is fine, but the cold brings you to your knees faster than you’d imagine, if not managed correctly.
We take a break around every two hours. But it’s impossible to break for more than five minutes without your fingers going numb. So it’s like doing eight straight hours of exercise. At the same time, it’s important to eat enough to fuel the next two hours and keep you warm. I learned this the hard way after reaching an energy low around six hours into the day. Didn’t think I could do another minute. Teamwork, encouragement and cause for laughter led me through the next two hours! Great team.Ice blocks were jetting out from underneath the snow and it looked like blue kryptonite. I found myself looking for Superman on the horizon!
That’s all for now. I must get in my sleping bag and warm up… still shivering with a wet baselayer.