#2: First day
After gathering at the warehouse this morning for last minute preparations, we loaded up the belt wagons with sleds, skis and adventurers, and began our journey out to Eskerfossen, our start point for the expedition!
The weather was perfect for a scenic drive, sunny and blue skies. Not so scenic for the people in the back though, who had a view for about 5 minutes before the windows iced up!
After a hot noodle lunch (the first of many!) we left our sleds and skied in through a short winding valley to check out the frozen waterfall ‘Eskerfossen’. Due to the recent warm temperatures followed by the cold snap we are now in, the icy waterfall had almost doubled in size since the last expedition!
This little jaunt without our sleds allowed us some time to practice gliding with our skis and finding a comfortable and efficient stride.
Back at the sleds, feeling the chill of -20 degrees, we got ready for our first hauling session. With a slight wind on our faces we were sure to cover up using masks and buffs to avoid exposing too much skin. Everyone on the team made great decisions on what to wear and how to dress for this session, and our first hour went by without a hitch!
Being the first night, we stopped to make camp after our first session, ensuring plenty of time to get set up for the night. The sun disappeared and the temperature dropped to -25. It’s cold! Colder than we’ve experienced so far this year. Everything is crisp, the snow is squeaky and our clothing crinkles and crackles as we move. It’s funny, not much survives at temperatures like this, and yet the world feels bright and alive, sounds are sharp, the surroundings look crystal clear, feelings are acute, and smiles are radiating around us.
Pairs worked together to choose a flat area, erect tents, cut snow blocks, inflate sleeping mattresses, organise their equipment in the tents, and get their stoves started. Henry and Ram were feeling the cold in their fingers, and so had the extra challenge of setting up their tent with their big polar mitts on. Certainly a tricky feat on the first day! Everyone clambered in for the night, eager to get warm and settled, doors zipped up and we said our goodnights.
After some issues with our fuel pump, we had to turn our stove off and swap the pump out. With our burner off for 30 seconds or so, it was nice to hear tent partners chatting away over their humming stoves, perhaps comparing their dinner choices!
We are camped in Sassendalen, and will continue skiing up the broad valley tomorrow with Tempelfjorden behind us and speccy views all around. Looking forward to our first full day!
Time to put the kettle on to fill up our hot water bottles for the night, I think we’ll be needing them!
1. Team in the warehouse, sleds packed and ready!
2. View out the front of the belt wagon, looking out our sleds on the trailer of the second vehicle.
3. Icey lashes were the trending fashion statement after our hauling session this afternoon!