Sunday, 3 March 2013

The blizzard and an inevitable delay

A blizzard hit Resolute early this morning which essentially saw the hamlet shut down. Winds over 100kph were predicted, and combined with the already low temperatures made going outside very difficult. We cancelled the training we had planned and instead spent the day starting to pack the pulks; we now have kit spread all over the Co-op dining room.

We ventured out three times to the local store to pick up our fuel. The first trip was a disaster as the store was closed; the second was better at least the store was open, but the lock to the fuel store was frozen solid and couldn't be open and then finally on the third attempt did we pick up our 6 containers of fuel (which we have now carefully repackaged). But each journey was an epic, the wind cut through everything we wore and felt brutal and the distance of 150m felt an awful lot further!

The storm is predicted to blow out tomorrow sometime; we were due to start tomorrow! But the wise decision is to delay until Mon, we lose a day but we start in better conditions and then play catch up later in the trip. The plan for the last 100nm was always to replicate the likelihood of the closing of the time window for a full geographic trip (when the time for the pick-up is closing in rapidly). So in effect we are adding to our own pressures - but as i wrote in an earlier blog, this trip is purely a training expedition for next year when we plan on returning to attempt the Geographic Pole, so a bit of time pressure is good. And as the Russians say "he who doesn't take risks doesn't drink champagne". But equally the time pressure will only mean that we have to work harder as we get more tired, and although the trip we are doing has been done countless times over the years, the fact we are unsupported, will be dragging heavy pulks (again to replicate next year), and starting early in the season will add to our inevitable suffering. However as Horace stated "Suffering is but another name for the teaching of experience, which is the parent of instruction and the schoolmaster of life."

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