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Svalbard, Descent and Damn Good View

The team skied 19 km today, first across the glacial plateau, then descending 900 m to sea level. There were some fairly steep drops on the downhill with the sleds penduluming behind them even with the brakes on. This can make for rather a wild ride but everyone stayed in control and did very well. The temperature is relatively balmy, right around freezing with minimal wind. They ended up about 4 km from the Nordenskiold Glacier which is spectacular- a wall of blue ice several hundred feet high full of cracks and crevices. During the summer months it will calve into the fjord. They saw reindeer and seals on the ice as well as some snowy ptarmagin. They found a very, very rustic cabin (more of a shack) but it has 4 walls and a roof. The team chose to bunk out there as polar bear had been sighted in Pyramiden a few days ago and it made sense to have shelter when one can. The team has thoroughly enjoyed having Ice, their white sled dog, accompany them throughout the trek as an additional polar bear deterrent. They have been taking turns skiing with him and he is the favorite team member! They created an outdoor kitchen as they found a wooden bench outside. They have enjoyed cheese fondue, soup and worked at finishing off all the food they have left- no one going hungry!The plan is to ski across the frozen fjord to Pyramiden in the morning, hoping to arrive by mid-day to have a chance to explore the town. Stay tuned for the celebration in Pyramiden tomorrow!


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