The Dome Approach

I’m going for it!

Rolling the clock meant a short sleep then up at again at 3am to harness as much wind power as possible.

I lost a cold hour restringing the 15m Chrono Kite as I’d pinched it’s lines to extend and garner more power on the big kite a few days ago. With frozen fingers in windchill close to -40c I tried to keep my cool and untangle swiftly then restring the shorter lines.

It was 5:30 by the time I got moving, the kite was perfect for the conditions and I made great headway, roaring away towards the dome. The wind is favourable but I’m not making the bearing for Kunlun Station on top of the Dome. I’m hoping the wind will bend as I approach the base of the incline.

No one has ever crossed this section of ice solo and unsupported, so it’s comforting to have Dr Ben Galton-Fenzi and Jacqueline Comery from SKADINU in Hobart in the background scanning for crevasses or “slots” for me.

I still kept my eyes peeled, the ice seemed to have big rolls or waves in it today and I was climbing all day or so it seemed.

I pushed hard as I wasn’t sure how long this wind will go on for. I was finished physically by 3pm, 9 hours exposed to the windchill, on my knees I erected the tent. The best part of the day – stove on, hot drink, check the gps then plot the position on the chart. I made 155 km upwind. The top of the Dome is 300 km away and I’m camped at 12,000 ft, the top of the Dome is only just over 2000ft higher.

The vastness of Antarctica struck me today, so enormous it can make you feel totally insignificant and yet it is the most spiritually stimulating space I have ever been in at the same time.

I’m praying madly that the wind will hold.