Prep for teaching: Watch at the South Pole

One thing I had been meaning to do for a while was photograph the

Casio G-Shock ProTrek PRW5100 that went to the South Pole
Casio G-Shock ProTrek PRW5100 that went to the South Pole

watch It’s Jackson Time, one of my expedition sponsors, provided me with.  Ted, the owner, was very good and made sure I had an excellent expedition time piece to trek across Antarctica with.

Although the Casio ProTrek PRW5100-1 is no Rolex, it has certain features I loved.  Having analog for checking time at a glance was wonderful.  It had been forever since I had an analog watch and I never realized how much more quickly I could watch my time during skiing.  Also, the analog face does not develop lag like an LCD nor does it turn black when looking at it with polarized glasses.  And, I could leave the watch out and still read it.  LCD-based watches would turn to unreadable mush at -40 deg. F.

One of the purposes for photographing this watch was to fine-tune my product shooting skills for a few classes I’m teaching at the Art Association of Jackson Hole.  I will be teaching four different classes.  Stay tuned for their description, purpose and audience.  I will be targeting intermediate shooters with one course and have a class on strobe (flash) photography.  Hence the above photograph.

The class dates and exact description will be forthcoming.

ProTrek PRW5100 unretouched
ProTrek PRW5100 unretouched, what it looked like after the south pole

Note: The above watch went with me to the South Pole.  It’s a little more beat up than the above shows.  It took a sick amount of Photoshop work to take out most of the dings, scratches, fuzzies, and specs.

Here’s the original image before editing:

Book development

As I’ve been developing and writing my book, I’ve had to refer back to photographs to

Sastrugi near Colossus Hill
Sastrugi near Colossus Hill

clarify certain things. One place I needed to check on was the location of Colossus Hill at S 87º 21′, W 082º 35’. This south-facing slope had ridiculously large sastrugi, bigger than I had encountered up to the that point in the trip.
This photo was taken right near there.

The conditions made for tough going.

Expedition Presentation at St. James Lutheran, Imperial Beach, CA

On June 23, 2013, I will be making a presentation on my expedition at St.

St. James Polar Event
St. James Polar Event, in the news letter

James Lutheran Church in Imperial Beach, CA. (866 Imperial Beach Blvd. , Imperial Beach, CA 91932 ,  Click on the picture to the right to see the full flyer.

I understand the event will be coordinated with a pot luck meal as well.  The community is invited to attend the event.

For this presentation, I will give a sampler of the material I will be making for corporate and event clients, too.  This evening will not only be a discussion about what it was like to trek across Antarctica, but also presenting a message of never giving up, accepting change and pursuing one’s dreams.  I’ll also provide a little insight into how I took calculated risks to get the expedition going in spite of naysayers.

Please check with the church by calling at 619.424.6166 for updated information on the event.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Valley 7 and The Pit

During the Antarctic expedition, there were many places I ran into which developed special meaning to me.  One was The Pit located in the trough of Valley 7.  All along the relatively flat plains of the 85-86 degrees region, things were smooth and quite easily.  Then, the ice surface began to undulate and build up hills.  Hannah Mckeand warned me that the route to the South Pole is a series of rolling hills.  How right she was!

These hills are actually not quite so rolling.  They’re more like slow rolling hills colliding

Sastrugi of Antarctica
Sastrugi of Antarctica

into relatively steep, north facing slopes.  One of these places I named Valley 7 because it took me seven 75 minute ski sessions to get to the top of the hill.  The north facing slope was so steep, there were no places to put my tent.  I only needed a 10′ x 10′ area to pitch it and there weren’t any places to be had.  At least none that weren’t steep enough to roll me in my sleep.

The north entrance to Valley 7 is at:  S 86º 44.0′, W 081º 59.288′

The south edge of Valley 7 is at S 86º 44.994′, W 081º 59.288′

And, at the bottom of this valley was The Pit, a tangled mass of sastrugi, huge monoliths.  Here was my introduction to how large the sastrugi would get in the 87 degree area.  Thank goodness the skis on my sleds actually broke, otherwise the pulks would have slid laterally, falling into these pits and possibly damaging gear.  And, most importantly, robing me of precious travel time.

Christmas eve meeting

Along the way an Antarctica, something unbelievably strange happened.  I heard a voice calling out my name in the literal middle of nowhere.  Having traveled over 300 miles at that point, it never occurred to me that someone might come across me.

And yet, it happened.

Vilborg Arna Gissurardóttir was vying to be the first woman from Iceland to solo-ski from Hercules Inlet on the Ronne Ice shelf situated on the Antarctic coast to the South Pole.  This meant she was to receive no outside assistance, either to move her equipment or to pick up along the way.

Continue reading “Christmas eve meeting”

Day 1


There will be no flight this morning. The next update I will receive will be at 6 PM this evening. There is a chance that I could fly this evening, however it’s more likely tomorrow morning if all is well. ALE reports that the runway looks good for landing at least.

My update call at 6pm told me to be at the hotel from 6am-9am tomorrow. Awaiting good weather & go-ahead.

Waiting seems tough, but dragging 380 pounds over ice sculptures at -40 deg is tougher.