Monday, October 21, 2013

Traverse departure: imminent

Posted October 20, by Amy

We got up early today to ferry gear ashore for tomorrow's traverse departure. Skies were overcast with light winds for the trek up to the snowfield where we stowed the pulks, skis, stoves etc. Carrying the pulks over the rocky terrain is awkward—we will be glad to be pulling them on our skis from now on. The plan is to get up at first light, have a light breakfast, and hike up to the gear in our mud boots where we'll don our ski boots/skis and begin the trek up the snow face to the ridge that leads to the inner mountains to camp at the foot of the Trident. The forecast is not favorable but we will try and hope that we hit a good window of lesser winds and decent visibility. (Right now it's raining and blowing 25 knots—yuck).

This afternoon we went back ashore to walk the beach and observe the elephant seals, king penguins, and birds. The hanging glaciers that ring the bay are spectacular. One elephant seal had just birthed her pup. Next to him was a pup that has apparently lost his mother—he tried to nurse with various moms who all rejected him. He appears to be undersized and his prospects are not good. I went and hung out with some king penguins; once they get used to you they'll stand around to preen, squawk, and stare. Those that have finished molting are beautiful.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow's trek!


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