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
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.