Written 6 January, 2008
3608 meters a.s.l.
Maximum & Minimum temperatures: -29 to -35 °C
Nearly all the way from Troll Station to the Pole of Inaccessibility we have driven along the crest of the continent. On this last leg towards the South Pole we have left the ridge and will gradually be descending to lower ground. This implies different patterns of winds and snow accumulation. We are starting to see the effects of this in the shape of rougher snow drifts and more sastrugi, so the ride is getting bumpier. However, there are positive side effects to this. One is that it is much easier for the drivers to stay awake! Another is that the speed is increasing and the fuel consumption going down, since the snow surface is becoming more solid. Add to this the increased air pressure as we descend, and we dare say that the rest of the trip will be a good downhill race.
We have had a routine driving day today; setting off at 8 am and then driving, driving, driving until 8 pm. In total we have covered 92 km without incidents, which makes it a really good day. The highlight of the day was an incredible find some 25 km before we stopped: Dead ahead of us, right in our path, stood a lone ski pole! If finding the proverbial needle in the haystack is difficult, what should we say about a single ski pole in an empty, white expanse thousands of kilometers wide where hardly anyone has ever been before? The question prompted by the incident is of course: Who left it there? The pole was of Italian make, but carried a Norwegian price tag. It was stuck only a few centimeters into the ground, so we assume that it has been here for no more than a couple of years. Any guesses?
Image caption: A very unexpected find in the middle of the vast Antarctic Plateau. (Photo: Stein Tronstad)
This contribution is from the log of the Norwegian-US Scientific Traverse team, who are en route from Troll Station to South Pole Station. Much more information can be found here.
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Tuesday, 08 January 2008 10:27
A highly unexpected findWritten by US-Norway Traverse
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