Location N 72 0.27 W 047 29.16
Distance (day/total) 0/371 miles
Weather Snow, wind and and very poor visibility for most of the day
Not so much white horizon, just white
Well, this is turning into a camping trip interspersed with the odd bit of snowkiting. To the well seasoned expeditioner, Leo, this is no big deal, but to me I find it difficult to do nothing. Now while this might come as a surprise as I haven’t done a normal job for 11 years, being a house-husband does indeed have its chores and I always seem to be on the go, admittedly, persuading my kids to do the household jobs I should really be doing!
So it was a great relief to get an email from our “third” team member and mentor “Auntie” Jean Burgun on the subject of combatting tent boredom. I met Jean (French John) just over a year ago while snowkiting near Briancon in the beautiful Hautes-Alpes. A proper adventurer, who is brimming with passion for his sport, nature and wild experience. He has helped us enormously with technical details and strategic planning, drawing on both his experiences, and that of his friend Michael Charavin (World record snowkite distance holder 5067km).
So here are his wise words:
1. The most difficult part is to wait without getting crazy/killing your mates/yourself
2. Keep fit and motivated for flash attempts.
3. So enjoy your home/tent cinema full screen
4. Accept to not move
5. Get some sleep like never you did for years
6. Control/repair your gear/wax skis so all will be in great shape for next window
7. Make silly photos /videos
8. Run naked into the wind
9. Don’t play with the rifle….
10. When it’s clearing : Pop out of the tent like a devil from a springbox and GOOO !!
So with the exception of running naked these have set a scene of calm in the tent.
Jean can be found being the guardian of the Chalet de L’Eychauda in the village of Pelvoux, Hautes-Alpes. Stay there, eat his fantastic food, and if you help him wash some dishes, I’m sure he will happily talk snowkiting with you.
So we wait until the morning to see if conditions line up for a snowkite session. Katabatic winds are promised together with some long awaited sunshine. If not, we are changing our expedition name to Greenland Heli-camping 2016.