#5: The never ending hill

2022-05-16 11:39:00am

-16 inside our tents last night, so outside it would likely have been below -20, the coldest night we have had so far! The team slept well despite the cold, which was fantastic to hear.

It was quite windy overnight which hardened the surface of the snow, a welcome relief from the heavy hauling through powder of the last few days. The improved snow conditions were certainly in our favour, as we had a big climb ahead of us!

Today felt like we could have been in the desert. The wind had scoured the snow into a mosaic of ripples and small sastrugi. We would haul up to false summits, only to find more looming in the distance like rolling dunes, and the snow had that classic astringent squeak that you get walking in sand on a hot day. Not to mention we were slathering ourselves in sunscreen during each break, in an endless war against the sun. Sounds like desert to me!

After 8 hours we finally reached the top of the never ending hill, and that’s when the fun began! We had a crevasse field to cross, so we roped up with Bård up the front and me at the back, and travelled approximately 3km. While there were no immediate signs of crevassing, Bård found a number of narrow crevasses using his ski pole as a probe. It was amazing (and a little scary!) to look right down into the heart of the glacier.

Once safely across we put our rope away and skied another 20 minutes before setting up camp. Everyone seemed in high spirits on arrival, having had a satisfying day. Things are starting to feel more efficient, and our team is working well together. Happy days!


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