Antarctica is a very windy place. There is always a wind in Antarctica, the only question is how strong is the wind? The winds in Antarctica are katabatic winds. A katabatic wind is a gravity fed wind. As the wind currents travel around the earth they drop onto the South Pole and then travel to the ocean. Since the South Pole is close to 10,000 ft elevation and the ocean is 0 ft the wind is pulled down hill by gravity. It is said that in Antarctica you do not need a compass to ski to the South Pole. You just need to ski into the wind.
As I sit in the tent this morning you can see the wind buffeting the tent walls, but it does not look too bad. Once we get out of the tent we are hit by the full force of the wind and have to dig out our sleds and gear that was buried by drifting snow in the night.
Not only does this wind make travel more difficult, but the constant ultra-cold wind-chill can cause severe frostbite and windburn if you are not careful.
Pulling a 100kg sled 1000km across Antarctica would be much easier if it were not for all the Sastrugi. What is a Sastrugi you ask? Sastrugi is a Russian work meaning “parallel wave like ridges caused by winds on the surface of hard snow, especially in polar regions”. In this video I talk about how the Sastrugi is formed and the impact they have on or speed and difficulty of travel. In the end, we had Sastrugi for 90% of the expedition and in some sections they were huge and constant. When there is no break between Sastrugi it is like riding a bike across a field of speed bumps. 86.5 to 88.5 degrees were particularly bad and when you throw low visibility conditions into the mix, making any distance in a day becomes a huge effort.
Hi and welcome to the sixth, and last, video in my Everest adventure series. On May 21, 2008, I stood on the summit of Mount Everest. It had taken years of training and almost two months of climbing to achieve this goal. It was an amazingly beautiful day. The temperature was only about -10c, there was very little wind, and the sky was clear of clouds. We spent about 30 minutes on the summit before heading down.
I will be adding more videos from Antarctica, The South Pole, The North Pole, Mount Vinson, Kilimanjaro and from my expeditions with True Patriot Love.
Hi and welcome to the Fifth video in my Everest adventure series. Moving from camp 3 to camp 4 is a slow and painful process due to the lack of oxygen. The higher we go the harder it will become. Above camp 3 we start to breathe supplemental oxygen, but this does not eliminate all your problems. The oxygen gives you a boost, but climbing is still extremely difficult. In this video, you can see how slowly the climbers are moving. This is pretty much full speed on Everest.