Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Traverse Day 15 Update

Day 15 Progress:

Day 15 - 9 December 2013, 1330UT
Position reached: E 111° 23.766' S 71° 10.051'
Elevation: 2677 m
Distance covered: 1353 km
Distance remaining: 1 km
Temperature (evening): -18 °C

Well, we have arrived at ABN minus 1km. Today we departed in low visibility
with some snow overnight continuing and low cloud/fog. This rapidly
deteriorated to whiteout at times, which slowed travel a little bit,
although a very flat, minimal sastrugi surface literally smoothed the way.

We arrived just 1 km short of the ABN site around 1830 which afforded us
the rare luxury of an early shutdown - once vehicles were fuelled and
everything sorted out, we settled down to a celebratory dinner about two
hours earlier than normal. We enjoyed a great Franco-Australian celebration
of the achievement of the past two weeks.

Tomorrow we will go to survey the campsite, ready to bring in the traverse
and begin unpacking/setting up camp.

The evening has cleared and settled to a nice mild (-18C) and relatively
clear night. The 11pm sun is shining through the window across my desk,
sporting a couple of picturesque sun-dogs on either side. A fitting end to
the traverse phase, and inspiring start for the next phase of setting up
the camp and getting down to the scientific work.