I never took the trip lightly, in fact a little too serious that I quit my job for this. Whenever time allowed (week nights and weekends), I trained and prepared for it. I think I was well prepared for it mentally and physically. But in the past few days I came to realize that my body needs to handle much more for the intensity and speed of traveling. In fact if we ski at the pace my body can handle it'll take us beyond the last flight out of Antarctica which is Jan 27. Time is not my friend at this point. The endless series of delay due to weather gave us no wiggle room either. And I don't think it's fair to drag down the team on their expense. With all disappointment and sadness, I made the decision to stop my ski journey to the south pole this time. It is one of the most difficult decisions for me so far. I do enjoy the expedition so far and the challenges it presented. I wish Em and Carl the best of luck.And my dream to do the journey has not terminated with this trip. I know I will come back to this white continent again one day.KhaiPS: I leave the satelite phone with Em and Carl as they continue the journey. That means I will not be able to blog or send photos until I get back to Punta Arenas (not sure when as you all know how much dependant it is on weather)Photo: Looking SouthSent from Iridium Mail & Web.
Friday, December 11, 2015
The last two days were very windy, with gusts up to 30 knots (54 km/h?). It was very hard work. There was a pass we also had to climb. It was a not steep and was about 100 m but pulling sleds and on skis climbing it is not so trivial.I should talk about his we camp. At the end of the day, we pitch our tents, first the big one (two person tent). While Em and I finishing the small tent, Carl would start the stove to melt snow for hot water. We use hit water for "cooking" our freeze dried meals. Carl and I share the two person tent and Em stays in the single. In the morning we also melt snow for hot water for freeze dried breakfast before breaking down the camp and keep moving.Photo: selfie of us in our big tentSent from Iridium Mail & Web.
Posted by Khai Nguyen at 5:53 PM
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
We woke up finding our sleds were buried in deep snow. It was windy last night. Butthere is always sunshine after the rain, in this case after whiteouts. We had the sun out the whole day as we passed by old camp site of Patriot Hills. Such a beautiful site. Too bad the weather there is not the best that's why the camp was moved to Union Glacier. As we skied the head wind (the katabatic wind from the pole) was about 20 knots (40 km/h?) which is pretty strong. The snow surface improved a bit. All in all we had a pretty good day.Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.
Posted by Khai Nguyen at 3:10 PM
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Another day another complete white out. And the wind. And the soft and heavy snow. In the last trip Carl guided Lewis, they got 3 no contrast days and here we are 3 days in the expedition two of them are white out. This year weather has been very bad. First endless of delays in UG and now snow dump. As Carl says welcome to the white room.Photo: the white out we "see" the last two days.Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.
Posted by Khai Nguyen at 2:46 PM
Monday, December 7, 2015
It was a hard day today. We skied in complete white out. We couldn't see anything. Carl had to use compass to navigate. But we did pretty ok for whiteout condition with 8 nautical miles. Can't wait going to bed.Photo: our parked sleds outside of the tents.Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.
Posted by Khai Nguyen at 2:35 PM
Sunday, December 6, 2015
We started the day slightly earlier at 8:45 cuz we were a little too efficient and breaking the camp. The weather was nice at the first 30 mins then changed to be quite windy. On top of that we had to climb a big steep hill. It was pretty hard work. We gained about 420m in elevation and traveled 5.9 miles or 9.5km. Now we are in our nice and cozy tents.
Posted by Khai Nguyen at 2:42 PM