13.11.2011 22:39

Day 4 -s- Pole ;) [sanae pole]

This morning we broke camp early to gain as much time as possible on our trek back to Sanae through the massive Sastrugi canyons.

Our goal was to make it back to Sanae one way or another as we thought that a low pressure system might be coming through on Sunday night. Our strategy was to go up higher towards the mountains and it paid off for us. We were able to do almost 17 kilometers in just under 10 hours of straight man-hauling.

Physically completely exhausted but ecstatically happy, we reached Sanae around 17:00 UTC. We will evaluate all our options tomorrow. We can say with certainty that there is no way we could have made the planned route to the ascent onto the plateau in under 20 days, perhaps even more.

Dixie still has the same problems on the plateau with monster sastrugis. Sebastian and Eric caught a break yesterday and were able to kite for about 40 km after slow progress the first 7 days.

One option for us is to try and fly back to Novo and start from there. We will look at this option tomorrow. From Novo the distance on top of the polar plateau is a lot less than from Sanae. Also the route is obviously known and it may give us still a chance to head for the South Pole even with all the lost time.

There is a prevailing high pressure ridge extending all the way from Dome Fuji in the East to Sanae in the West. This means 20-30 knots (40-60 km/h) winds, however from South or South East, which is not ideal for any of us.

For now we are glad to reconnect with the lovely people of Sanae and get a good night rest before weighing all our options tomorrow. Stay tuned and

Armin and Dieter

S 71° 40.710
W002° 52.073
Höhe: 708m
Distanz: 16.75km

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