Crossing the Union glacier
26 Nov, 10 - 01:16
Blog entry from the Fuchs Foundation website www.fuchsfoundation.org
Wow! This place is stunning! With the delays and preparations behind us, it finally feels like our true expedition has begun. Earlier today we left the comparative home comforts of the Union glacier basecamp (well they do have hot water and a ‘proper’ toilet) and began to make our way towards the Nimbus mountain range. Before leaving, Lisa, Lyndsay and Ricky had a real treat, travelling in a twin otter aeroplane to a place called Hercules Inlet. This is one of the usual starting points for expeditions to the pole. They went to wish farewell to Chris Foot who is attempting to become the first person to reach the pole AND back, unassisted and unsupported. Good luck to him! Check out Ricky’s blog for more information. Our first leg of our journey in the Ellsworth Mountains involved crossing the Union glacier, towards the Buchanan Hills, which we hope to reach tomorrow. Today’s skiing conditions were amazing; beautiful sunshine, very little wind with not a cloud in the sky. It certainly is deceptive however as temperatures reached as low as -21! Once moving these temperatures were quickly forgotten.. Glaciers are such as these are littered with crevasses so it is essential that the most up to date satellite images are analysed and checked. Maps can only show so much, especially when the region is largely unexplored. The union glacier is about 15km wide, surrounded on three sides by the most beautiful mountains. These three sides are also full of canyons and smaller glaciers flowing into the main one. What immediately strikes you is how bright everything is, covered in snow, set agai nst stunning blue sky and 24hr sunlight. Shades or goggles are essential to prevent snow-blindness. It is hard to imagine anywhere more beautiful or pristine, and it certainly does make you feel humble to be going somewhere that no one has ever been before. The next few weeks certainly will be quite an experience.