Another Polar Update today from ThePoles.com. It seems that very cold conditions have hit the ice, just one day before Summer sets in in the Southern Hemisphere. Our intrepid explorers on the ice wouldn’t know it’s Summer however, with rough winds, sastrugi, and bitter cold (-25 C) conspiring against them.
Polar Quest has less than 100 miles to go now, and seems likely to reach the Pole by Chistmas as planned, despite trudging uphill much the way yesterday. The Kiwis had rough going because of whiteout conditions, but are still on track to reach the 87th parallel in the next few days. Meanwhile, Hannah is moving like a speed demon, and may set a new solo speed record. However, moving that fast has taken it’s toll, as she has burned off her excess body fat, and is now having a hard time staying warm. She is also closing in on the 88th degree, and is roughly a week out from the Pole. Finally, Ray and Jenny continue along according to schedule, although the bitter cold, and a few health issues have made it tough sledding. Yesterday was nearly all up-hill as they approached the Polar Plateau.
Over on Vinson, it was the scene of another rescue attempt as Canadian Doctor Heather Ross woke up in the middle of the night suffering from HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema). After administering diamox and Viagra, she was rushed down the mountain to Camp 1 and is expected to leave Patriot Hills today.