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  • Story Owner: Mark  Andresen
  • Story Title: North Pole
  • Story Created: Monday, March 24, 2014, 11:06:00 PM
  • Chapter Author: Mark Andresen
  • Chapter Created: Wednesday, April 09, 2014, 2:48:00 PM
  • updated: Thursday, April 17, 2014 8:25:00 AM

Every single day we have to setup our camp and get the dogs settled. Every day we look forward to sitting in our cold tent for some degree of warmth and relative relaxation warming water for drinking and mixing with our dehydrated meals. We realize it is still below zero in our tent (our water will freeze overnight if left in something uninsulated), but warmth at this point is relative, funny how that works. 

To create our little slice of the tropics here we of course need a tent, and to set our tents up, we have to use an evil little device called an ice screw. See, we cannot use stakes here like you would use when camping because we are on a floating, fluffy, icy world. To put in an ice screw you have to dig down to the ice and then screw it in by hand. Think of a 6 inch long screw with a hole in the middle designed to dig into ice and provide a firm hold.

These evil devices are necessary so our little bastion of safety does not send us sailing away in high winds. They are, however, difficult, frustrating and challenging that can often surprise you with great delight.

Imagine if you will trying to put a corkscrew into your driveway. Everyone here has their own strategy, and of course everyone thinks they have the only correct way to put them in. I, however, will stick to my favorite method. If I can't get one in, my first method is to bet Mike that he cannot get it in. The second is to praise Mike by telling him he is the best at putting them in, and the third is to bet Maher or CP that Mike cannot put in the ice screw in less than 3 minutes. All have a 100% success rate. Regardless, we hate these evil little devices as they forestall our entry into our warm slices of heaven each night after a long day. They do on occasion provide you great joy when you can feel them bite into the ice and actually do what they are designed to do. Odd how little things like this are important to me now.

Getting close to the one degree mark (89 degrees north) as we have had some great travel days. At least -31 below today so a very, very cold day today. There were some pucker worthy moments, as usual, when we crossed newly frozen leads, but will save those stories for another post.