A day of rest

It is a day of rest on the Plateau. This means the expedition’s official bloggers have the day off, and the task of reporting today’s news falls to the less serious team members.
Stein P. Aasheim, Vegard Ulvang and Harald Dag Jølle in a tent.Come as you are party in “the mansion”. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute

First a pertinent piece of advice from the team’s official poet:
In a gale force wind at thirty below,
a warm sleeping bag is the best place to go.

And now to today’s blog:
It is a resting day on the Plateau. Many of you probably wonder what goes on during a resting day on the Plateau. Here are a few descriptive details. The four-man tent, also known as “the mansion” or “the assembly room”, stands to the right. The three-man tent, frequently called “the slum”, is on the left. The tents are at shouting distance at wind speeds up to Beaufort 6 or so. At higher speeds, all contact is lost.

Many undoubtedly wonder how we handle ourselves when we take a rest day under such extreme conditions. The answer is the pee-bottle. In everyday parlance on the Plateau often called the piss-bottle. On a resting day with wind and drifting snow and and  30°C below, that bottle is more important than ever. The storm can rage on to its heart’s content and one need never leave one’s sleeping bag. Provided one has mastered the technique, that is. But some people do crazy things. The historian Jølle, for example, refuses to sink so low as to pee in a bottle. Regardless of the wind speed outside. The sock magnate Ulvang has to crawl out of his sleeping bag to get it all going. And then much of the point is lost. Seeing Vegard Ulvang hunched on his knees with a red energy drink bottle between his legs at the far end of “the slum” is – with all due respect – not a pretty sight. Besides, he’s wasting all the advantages of being a man. Winther and Aasheim are the only ones who have fully mastered this implementation of the recovery position.

So there you have it, a few specifics on issues some of you have undoubtedly wondered about on how we handle a resting day on the Plateau.

PS1. Asle T. Johansen’s expedition also has a depot here. It is untouched. We must have passed them sometime yesterday, the blowing snow concealing each group from the other.

PS2. Special thanks to Nancy and Ronny at Union Glacier, who had included a few surprises in our depot bags – goodies we had never dreamed of. Ulvang and Jølle teamed up, put these ingredients to good use and arranged a come-as-you-are party in “the mansion”.

Position: S 85 39.473, W 169 36.203
Temperature: -29°C
Wind: 12 m/s from the southeast
Elevation: 2800 metres
Distance traversed: 0 km
Distance behind Amundsen: 96 km
Total distance traversed: 812 km
Distance remaining to the South Pole: 499 km