Location N 73 42 W 049 21
Distance (day/total) 121/492 miles
Weather Sunny, good katabatic wind
Temp -20c during nighttime kiting
Although the hard bumpy surface took its toll on the knees kiting at high speed directly into the midnight sun with a bright moon over head was sublime. The sun no longer drops below the horizon casting a magical glow across the textured, snow blown ice cap all night long. Really quite special. But cold! -20C. Both of us sported ice beards when we stopped for a break. Our suits worked a treat and are actually well suited to kiting, fitting well under the harness, lots of accessible pockets and of course warm.
After 6 hours of knee jarring bumps & becoming worryingly overpowered on the big kites we decided to stop, pop up the tent and rest / sleep for a few hours skipping breakfast before another session early this morning. We hit our target of 200 km and even though the wind is still good outside decided to call it day. No need to push too hard as although we have made slower than expected progress we are in no rush.
Each kite session presents fresh challenges be it sastrugi (wind formed bumps) awkward heading to wind direction tacks, or poor visibility. Lots of new experiences for me and learning much. Currently feeling rewardingly knackered. Interesting for me being on a long trip that doesn’t involve climbing. It’s certainly a cool mission and I’m enjoying the challenge however I don’t think I’m cut out for polar travel. It’s quite repetitive and tiring, even with a kite. Dare say I’ll dabble more in the future but for sure my heart lies in altogether steeper terrain.
We’ve tipped the half way point and weather looks good for an early start tomorrow. It’s my wife Jessica’s birthday too so sending much love from the ice. Missing you and Freya loads and hopefully a fair wind will sail us home swiftly and safely.