Audio Dispatch


Aaron in Antarctica, Day 37. Camp postion South 82 degrees 52 decimal 302 minutes, position West 079 degrees 52 decimal 958 minutes. Distance traveled 9.5 miles, time traveled 8 hours. Oh man, station to home base, field station to home base, over, home base go. We have suffered a major equipment failure, Charlie Red is down, repeat Charlie Red is down. Home base, details please, white out happened today and we had to crash directly through heavy sastrugi and as a consequence I think Charlie Red was weakened and by the time we got into an open field he suffered an ignominious death, simply rolled over and died. I was towing in a very flat zone, it was complete ground white out, all of a sudden the drag increased and I felt the sleds drag around, I looked back and one of the skis on Charlie Red was completely flopped over. Failed in exactly the same way as Charlie Blue. Both sleds are down off skis, they are now plastic tubs. So, oh boy, needless to say that was not very good. I did set up for a test today to see if tracking verses drag was more important and, well I guess it doesn't really matter now. I also did a test when I got to camp and set up and put some wax inside the plastic to see if it glided or was worse and of course it sticks to the snow way better so, however these sleds slide is however they're going to slide now. Definitely a major bummer. One thing about them too is now I've got to work as much as I can to keep the weight in them exactly equal, that way one particular sled does not dig in more than the other and thus cause me slower progress. And actually with the ground white out I was very surprised to get as far as I did today cause it takes a full half hour to fully unrig the sled and break it apart and mount the skis. Also, I did suffer a little damage to my left toe, my liner sock got bunched up somehow and started to dig a divot out, it was just like a hang nail but dang it, wasted a good 15 minutes on that so, how I ever eeked out that much distance is beyond me. First session was amazing towing the sun was slightly out and then that cloud cover came and everything went from shapes to absolute blank and you end crashing into sastrugi's, things you could have easily avoided and you get to instead waste spectacular time going through. So, that was definitely a challenge. One neat thing I found out is two nights ago in the East of me or to the East of me, I saw what looked like people blobs moving along the horizon, couple black things, and they weren't moving very fast, tonight I found out that was a field traverse, there was a crew out there headed towards the Theil Mountains, probably to drop a cache, couple vehicles towing some sleds and apparently they must have picked up my cash already cause they're way way North of me. So that was kind of interesting. I talked to Union Glacier and they said, yea last year one skier said "forget it" and hopped a ride, this thing gets in your head, oh my gosh, the emotional rollercoaster's unbelievable, it's nothing I've ever experienced. So, last night I got actually half way decent sleep, I hoping to clock out tonight and just knock myself out with a hammer or something, we'll see. So hopefully no white out tomorrow and allows me to see how my sleds are gonna do. Out!

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