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Wednesday, April 29

Polarrev Diary - by Sarah Phillips

Polarrev pulking in the storm on the way out to the east coast. 28.4.09 – photo Mark Kittle

"We left our camp with Sarah leading (057968, 866731) at a very reasonable time of 9.50am, which is a first. The starting 10km was completely flat. We were surrounded by the mosaic repetition of snow-capped mountains sprinkled with chocolate as the first signs of dirt start to make an appearance with the snow melting early. Sometimes there was an interruption of a steeply sloping wet glacier, and the ground presented glimpses of turquoise glowing ice as the water underneath begins to melt and swell.
We eventually hit a skidoo track heading to the far right of the distant moraines that we were destined for, just as the sun became shrouded in cloud. Following this track we eventually entered the moraine field (057314, 867421) and faced 5 consecutive climbs."

Climbing a moraine hill 29.4.09 – photo Mark Kittle
"On reaching a glacier (057144, 867585) the group roped up in threes, with Mark lending his mountaineering expertise to speed up the process. Crossing the glacier was made very difficult by these ropes, especially with skis and pulks as you have to maintain an appropriate distance between each pulker so that the rope is just gently grazing the floor, but not so that you are being pulled along (if only!) Unfortunately for some, their pulks were not quite as cooperative and James had to consistently tend his mischievous pulk. It was a quick crossing and we were on the other side (057022, 867628) in no time. As we un-roped we noticed that the glacier we had crossed was in fact split at the end."
"This decoupled glacier exposed a striking cobalt blue ice face and was carving into a frozen lake, suggesting that an invading underwater stream had caused the unusual glacial separation (0570214, 8676280)."

The group having a break – photo Mark Kittle
"We still had to dip and twist our way through the moraines on the other side. At one point some of us were forced to pulk on foot as the steep and long scramble got the better of our skis. Luckily those of us longer-legged members, such as Jamie Logie and James, were able to heroically help the others drag their pulks up.
Eventually we settled into camp, tucking right (056980, 867720) after the moraines onto a fairly flat plot after a long day of 15km."

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