A flat light with a blanket of low clouds made for quite an oppressive atmosphere today but the surface of the snow has gone through a marked transformation. The very soft deep snow of the last nearly two weeks has finally given way to a harder surface. Marked ridges and troughs with many mini sastrugi still made for rough channeling going, hard on the feet and ankles but at least the sleds slide on the surface. So far on this expedition we’ve pulled two sleds each, a decision we made to help spread the load (165kg when we set off) over a greater area to minimise how much the sleds dig into soft snow, something that exponentially increases friction and drag. It’s served us really well so far but we’ve always known a point would come where two sleds started to become a hindrance, especially in the big sastrugi fields we know lie ahead. The question has been when is the right time to nest them together, repack and move with a single sled. Over this hard ridged surface we’ve found the two sleds jerk us around, yank us back or suddenly let us slide forwards unexpectedly as the different sleds are constantly on different ridges or troughs. So today we decided the day of tesselation has finally come!

So after we made camp we unpacked one of our sleds completely and repacked everything into a single sled, then lifted that sled and nestled it into the empty one. They fit together perfectly and we now effectively just have a single sled each. Hopefully this will make for smoother going over rough ridges and fingers crossed we’ve seen the last of the deep soft snow!

Suunto Stats

Skiing Time 9h 5mins

Distance 22km


Average HR 104

Max HR 139

Calories burned 6110


Average HR 102

Max HR 149

Calories burned 6227