A world of ice

An incredible two thirds of the world’s fresh water – water in the atmosphere, rivers, lakes, glaciers, and groundwater – is stored here in Antarctica. Today we have waded in deep powder snow, gaining 800 metres of elevation, through a spectacular frozen landscape. Glaciers tumble down between the mountains, making their way to the Ross Sea.
Skiers in a mountainous landscape in Antarctica.Spellbound by magnificent scenery. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute

Many of the icefalls look like nature’s own meringues. At a distance we have seen gigantic blocks of ice come crashing down the slopes, filling the air with huge clouds of powder snow dislodged by the shock waves. We are constantly stunned by the beautiful, untamed scenery that surrounds us in every direction.

We had intended to take a break today, but the weather was simply too glorious for that. And the temptation to scale the steepest segment of our route was too strong. We apparently felt the same thing as Bjaaland, during Amundsen’s expedition: “Good weather. Too good to lie still.” We will postpone our resting day until we reach the plateau. That will also give us more time to adjust to the altitude.

Position: S 85 27.884; W 166 10.960
Temperature: -13°C
Wind: calm
Elevation: 1845 metres
Distance traversed: 9 km
Distance behind Amundsen: 78 km
Total distance traversed: 769 km
Distance remaining to the South Pole: 542 km