Just got a phone call!

Very, very strange to imagine where Daragh was speaking from…there was constant noise like rushing wind in the background and the satellite phone cuts out or off every other minute, but I’m extremely pleased to report that Daragh sounds pretty relaxed and happy.

 The team set out from base camp on Monday 24th. They travelled 12km in 4.5 hours on the first day, 18km in 6 hours on the second. The distances travelled will increase as they acclimatise. The goal is 8 hours per day, stopping for 5-10 minutes each hour for a short rest and a snack. Obviously, the team stick together.

He reports that the weather is lovely and there is little wind. The view is an unchanging, endless horizon. I think the empty vastness of it is quite overwhelming: today’s highlight was “the top of a mountain in the distance”.

The team are getting used to their gear and getting the hang of skiing rhythmically and efficiently. The boots are beginning to pinch, so blister remedies are needed already.

The first cache of supplies is 19 days from their start date, by when the team will have travelled 321 km and climbed from sea level to about 4,100 feet. I believe the caches are simply marked by flags. I have a jet navigation map on which to track their progress, so I’ll hopefully be able to write about the team’s route and position in some context over the next few days.
- AH