2013-2014 South Pole Traverse – Day 17

Day 17
Location: Polar Plateau
Miles Advanced: 46.7
Elevation: 9,112ft.
Weather: Ice Fog, -22F

 

We are now entering the area we call Sastrugi National Park. Sastrugi are mounds of snow that have been formed and sculpted by wind. They can be quite beautiful as they form into delicate fins and arches. Sometimes I’ll see one directly in my path that is so ornate, I’ll feel bad running over it.

 

Sastrugi are also a nuisance. They are hard as concrete and can be several feet high. Traveling over them is a jarring experience. We found it best to knock them down with the blades on the Case tractors. Blading a trail, following the GPS, and hauling a load at the same time takes a great deal of effort and concentration. It’s also a full body workout. Going up and down the sastrugi feels a lot like riding a disgruntled horse for 10 hours.

 

To top things off I forgot to latch one of the cupboards and all its contents came spilling out- breaking some mugs and bowls. I guess I’ll have to steal some at pole.

 

Sastrugi
Sastrugi

 

 

Sastrugi
Sastrugi

 

 

Blading a Trail
Blading a Trail

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