#5: Polar chill
We enjoyed a chilly night in the tent, a welcome break from the crazy warm weather of the past few days. It’s a real joy to bed down in a warm sleeping bag dressed in base layer and socks and a hot water bottle (Nalgene and cover) for that added bit of luxury.
After a fast first hour, led by Chey and her bulked up sled for practice, we spilled onto Adventdalen and headed west towards Longyearbyen, passing teams of snowmobilers heading out on day trips. Much of the valley floor is now icy where large areas of water have refrozen with this welcome chill.
Chey and Paulina have learned a lot about polar travel - systems, sled hauling, energy efficiency, combating cold, lighting stoves - and they’re one step closer to fulfilling a dream of skiing to the South Pole. Skiing with Rob has been an incredible honour, his early expeditions were my greatest inspirations. Ida and Kris have been a wonderful addition, contributing valuable techniques and philosophies that they’ve learned studying in the Norwegian outdoor education system. And of course Heath, who never ceases to amaze me with his capacity for absorbing and imparting knowledge.
We are now camped a couple of hours ski from our pickup point. It has been a wonderful trip with a wonderful team in a wonderful place that continues to astonish me with every day I spend here. I’m already looking forward to next year.