March 18, 2005 Russian Version

13 days have passed since we started the expedition. It can be said that it has been a good acclimatization period for ourselves in terms of our body and the equipment. During this almost 2 weeks the temperatures varied from -50C° at night to -16C° in the daytime.

Evening temperature

On warm days it is easy to move. Sledges are sliding easily on the snow, and on the ice there are almost no brakes. But here comes another problem: we are hauling the sledges by rope; they pirouette on the ice skidding left and right and sometimes turning around. Nonetheless, it is easier dragging sledges on the ice than on the snow. When the temperature is relatively warmer, it is pleasant to move without the face mask and to make short stops for shooting nice photos. During the frost weather the sledges become very heavy as if they were loaded with additional weight. So we need to put more power in each step we take. We can move only 6 to 8km a day. And it is even more difficult to make camp. Everything, the tent and other things, is very cold. If you touch it with naked hands, your fingers will get frozen instantly. We are trying to set up the tent quickly and surround it with a perimeter made by sledges, skis, ropes. This works as a warning alarm if there are any visitors. After dinner, the enjoyable procedure, everybody does their own things: writing diary, connecting to a base camp or pilot schools, repairing equipment, and sleeping.

Mr. Ohba writing diary Håvard reparing equipment
To sleep is a great thing! Eating Pemican

It is interesting to wake up in the morning. Whole tent is covered with hoarfrost and various kinds of icicles like the ones in the fairy tail "The Snow Queen".

In the morning the process is the inverse of the evening: eating, put things in order, pack them into sledges and go! Overall the morning procedure takes 2 to 2.5 hours depending on the outside temperature, as if it is cold we need longer time to boil water.

Camp site in the morning.

Last few days we moved on the snow. The sledges are sinking down into the deep snow, so we have to make a path for the sledges by hardening the surface of the snow with the skis. Then we can finally move the sledges along the ski track. This process takes time. The day before yesterday it was snowing and we only managed to move 2km. And the visibility was very low, so we had to do some exploring before directing ourselves and moving forward.

Sledges sink 15 to 20 or even 30cm into the deep snow

At midday we have lunch for approx. 30 minutes. My lunch consists of 2 to 3 mugs of tea, half pack of chocolate pemmican, one spice-cake and some sweets. Havard is making for himself some kind of soup. Mr. Ohba is eating chocolate pemmican and drinking tea.

Lunch time (from left to right Mr. Ohba, Håvard, and myself)

Talking about photography I have a soft spot in my heart for taking photos of sunrises, sunsets and close-up photos of peoples. In the mountains and only in the mountains you can see unlimited number of different colors and tints of the sky.

FANTASTIC! Martian landscape!

Stepan Gvozdev    

February 2005
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March 2005
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April 2005
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May 2005
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June 2005
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