Sunday, 3 May 2009

NIALL: DAY 10, 2nd MAY

As long as you're in pain you're okay. It's when the pain stops that you are in trouble. This may sound like a paradox but for polar adventurers (and for people with leprosy) it is a very sensible paradigm. Polar adventurers, just like lepers, are most at risk of losing their extremities such as fingers and toes. Frostbite is a constant threat at these latitudes and we have been to be vigilant to avoid getting it and losing digits. If your fingers and toes hurt the nerves in them are still alive which means you haven't got frostbite. If you lose the sensation of pain then you are much more at risk. Today, like yesterday, my toes only warmed up at 4 in the afternoon, over 7hrs after hauling out. But I was never too concerned because I was experiencing the comforting sense of pain throughout. The wind is a real killer out her - if you expose your fingers for too long when stopping for a snack say, it can take the whole of the next hour's hauling to warm them up again.

Our day starts at around 6.30am when I wake up and put the stove on while Muzz grabs and extra 30mins of beauty sleep. The stove takes about an hour to melt all our snow for the day so we busy ourselves preparing our drinks and food and calling in our position to the staff at Expedition Greenland. After breakfast we pack up and haul out for the day. Each of us completes 4 leads where we break a trail through the snow for the other person. We have increased the time of these leads to 75mins to add more hours to our hauling day. After each pair of leads we stop for a bit of food and drink. The food is things like raising and peanuts and muesli bars - all high in calories and mostly quite tasty. Once we finish our day's hauling we whiz the tents up, brush off all the ice from the inside caused by condensation from breathing and cooking freezing on the tent walls and pile snow up around the tent to protect us from the wind. The stove goes on again for the evening's drinks and food. For meals we eat freeze dried packets of expedition food. Muzz is relatively new to this game so the novelty of these meals is yet to wear off. But I spent 63 days eating this rubbish and it all tastes the same to me, it all tastes of dung. We add 50g of butter and 50g of cheese to these meals for extra calories and creamy consistency and add salt and pepper to try and give it some flavour. Every night we brush the snow and ice off our boots and use them as a part of our pillow to keep them from freezing too much. It's time for bed. Muzz drops straight off while I read about while I read about the evolution of human nature.

We had a storming day today, pulling 27.2km And we are now at camp 10 and our position is 66 16.075'N 41 26.511'W and an altitude of 2125m above sea level.

Today's blog has been a bit more factual and a bit less rambling. I promise I will return to my usual rambling self tomorrow. Today's been a great day, here's hoping for more of the same tomorrow. Happy bank holiday all.

1 comment:

  1. First snow blindness and now frostbite???? his expedition is getting dangerous!!!! I hope Murray gets better and Niall don´t lose any fingers or toes......i´m loving these posts...and i hope Epic Greenland is a success