Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 21

I just got off the phone with Steve. Those guys are getting pretty bored with all their tent time, and consequently are doing the equivalent of 'surfing the internet' via sat phone. I wouldn't be surprised if they start making prank calls just to amuse themselves.

Here they are as of November 11, looking south. Camp located at 445622 3942510

He said they pretty much need a miracle right now for things to not go off the rails. The travelling has been steeper and more heavily crevassed than expected, and the weather has been either too windy, too warm or snowing too hard to travel. On a few occasions they've had a break in the weather, decided to go for it, broken camp (which takes two hours) and then started out, only to get hammered by weather again. Given the terrain they're in, they have some pretty tight weather parameters in which they can travel safely.

They're approaching a decision point in the next little while as to whether they'll be able to continue with their current food supplies, or bail. On the phone he said they're not that far from the ocean but that it would probably take a week for them to get down to it, even if it was possible, due to the broken nature of the glaciers.

Here's another picture from Mark Tinholt from their previous trip
"Connnncentrate, connnncentrate... Hey a nickel!"

He was also telling me about the crevasse fall. He fell in about 50' but was caught by the rope near the bottom of the crevasse. Kari was pulled down and dragged on his face before he managed to self arrest and stop Steve's fall. Then it was 3 hours* of ascending the rope to get out. Luckily he didn't get hit by his 100lb sled on the way down. True to form all he really wanted to say was "I got some awesome photos from inside the crevasse".

It sounds like they're getting a worn down by all the frustrating weather, but are still motivated to give it a go. Hopefully they get at least a few days of good weather which might give them time to get around Mt Darwin and onto the easier section of the trip. Even with that scenario he thought they would be running on fumes by the end of it.

Fingers crossed they get some good weather. Don't be surprised if you get a random phone call from Tierra Del Fuego.

*I wonder if it took 3 hours to ascend the rope because they were all taking pictures and footage of each other. I can just imagine it: "okay, Steve just go back down and climb that section one more time, that's it, now look to your left...."

1 comment:

Benito said...

Hey, you did a very nice expedition man.
How did you manage to obtain maps and stuff?, did you have any problem with chilean authorities?, how many kms did you hike?, how much did it take you?.


Benito, from Chile