Being cold… Very cold

Rather optimistic this morning, Martin poked his head out of the tent and reported it was not as cold as the day before.
Sure, we know that coming from a warm tent everything is relative even being cold but the idea of skiing and not having to deal with frostbites of our hands or feet would be very welcome at this stage of our expedition.

Since our drop off the temperatures have being around -31C to -34C and according to Martin’s  temperature gage on his camera,  today was an absolute record of -41C.
Sometimes it is better not knowing how cold it really is because the weird psychology of being uncomfortable starts to kick in.
Next are the questions in your head: what are we doing here?
And will I be safe?

The good side of the cold is that all leads are frozen and we ski over everything.
Even 10 degrees warmer and we have to deal with open water.

The Arctic looks like the Arctic when it is cold - constantly reminding you that it is a place only for those who can handle its environment.
Not for us, non-fur bearing kind of species.
We have to deal with face masks, down mittens, and multiple layers because every piece of skin exposed will freeze in less then 5 minutes.
There is a saying that being cold doesn’t exist only bad clothing but today with all the best clothing from Arctic specialist Bergans from Norway, I was still shivering to the bone.
All Day.

The times we were warm is when we hauled our sleds over pressure ridges and with the first sip of a hot drink.
That adds up to perhaps 30 minutes of the 8 hours we were outside.
I make a fist inside my mitten to get the blood back to my thumb but then the cold radiates to my fingers.
You can’t  help it, if you use ski poles and your hands are up, the blood races to the core and leaves you with absolutely numb hands.

Luckily for us there is no breath of wind.
Nothing to add to the windchill.
Our sleds have a lot of friction when the snow is coarse and cold.
I bet we can do more miles each day if you can slide effortlessly over the ice.

At 17:30 today we couldn’t take it any longer and set up our tent.
Our stoves or rather the fuel which has been given us have difficulty and we pray each night they work so we can eat and drink but most important give us some heat.

Perhaps in a week time we are wishing for freezing temperatures but for now we need to think warm thoughts to keep going.

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