28 December, 2012

A Storm is Brewing – Alastair Lee

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Alastair Lee, Athlete Blogs and News

A Storm is Brewing – Alastair Lee

Location: Mavericks, Ulvetanna Base Camp, S 71 49.146′, E 008 21.867′

Temperature: -5 C, cloudy with some sun, 10 knots.

Date: – 28/12/12

It’s our seventh day on the white desert that is the icesheet below the mighty Ulvetanna  and the team are beginning to look a feel a little tired and drawn. Spirits remain high despite the cold, hard physical work and diminishing supplies of clean underwear. All part of our Antarctic acclimatisation.

Ulvetanna basecamp Antarctica

The crew’s superheroes; Leo, Stanley, Jason and Chris have now run two full loads to the base of the route, some 4km across the endless ice and an exposed hop along what must be one of the world’s most spectacular ridge scrambles that leads to the east side of Ulvetanna’s north face.

Approach to ulvetanna NE ridge
Quite an awesome sight which has kept the morale and expectations high. The conditions also seem to be effecting the team’s dentures as half way along the ridge Stanley coughed up a crown from one of his molars thankfully he still has the other side of his mouth to chew on.

All the climbing kit now sits under the initial crack system that will take us to the north-east ridge of Ulvetanna.
An excellent site for advanced base camp has been reccied under a huge mushroomed boulder, just five minutes from the route.

All that remains is for the food, portaledges, camping gear and personal kit to make the journey from basecamp and we’re ready to start climbing!
Today the lads are seeing to more pressing matters of suring up the camp, literally battening down the hatches as a storm is forecast for the weekend, peaking on Sunday.

Fortunately not as strong as was initially forecast (100mph winds!) it’s now been downgraded to around 60mph, still, in this environment it’s a serious prospect; walls are being reinforced, tents dropped and the Weather Haven roped down.

ulvetanna, antarctica base camp storm
After much debate about how best to deal with the Antarctic’s most savage onslaught; the wind. We’re about as ready as we can be but do we really know what we are about to face?… tell you on Monday.

Berghaus Store

For outdoor clothing from Berghaus including men’s waterproof jacketswomen’s rucksacks and more then please visit our online store.
You can find a wide range of gear for climbinghill walkingmountain biking and other activities.

(9) Comments

Have your opinion? Have your say…

  1. the anticipation is building – thanks for blogging…


  2. you’s are doing brilliant keep it up, good luck

    Paul Clarke

  3. Hi
    Glad you are all keeping well.
    Pictures look fantastic. The one with the tracks accross the open snowfield shows how isolated you really are.
    Hope weather is not too bad over weekend.

    Nigel (Westfield Community School)

    Nigel Williams

  4. Stay warm. Hope your walls and Stanley’s tooth holds!

    Stanley's Family

  5. Some thoughts and insight from Patti (his step-mum) pertaining to Sean’s molar crown coming off. Try putting warm candle wax, or something similar if that is not available, on the exposed molar. If possible then put the crown back in place as best as possible but still do not chew on that side.

    I (his dad) suppose that if you should encounter a Penguin perhaps one of its teeth could be pulled and then inserted like a piton into his mouth but that is probably not a good idea :>)

    John (Stanley's Dad)

  6. Stanley’s Teeth: Like the wax idea but you may need to warm the crown to keep the wax soft enough to allow the crown to seat fully. Failing that, if the tooth isn’t too sensitive don’t worry, it’s likely a new crown will be needed when you get home……alternatively take a dentist on the next trip ;) . Hope all going well, keep the updates coming when you can.

    The Coops

  7. Just about to have an Ulvetanna coffee before heading out on family bike ride & thinking of you guys… defo keeps us buzzing!
    PS Chris in your absence I managed to sneak peas & broccoli into the turkey curry – I think you would have let me off with the spinach ;) Hope you keeping it real in the kitchen.
    Hugz sis

    The Coops

  8. Hang in there lads, your doin a, ace job! The pics and the blogs are awsome !!
    Happy new year !!!

    Gaz Fellows

  9. Can’t wait to hear how you have got on with that wind! My class will be keen to see how you have been coping with the extremes of weather and to find out how much progress you have made over the school holidays.

    Primary Teacher

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