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Explorers-News posted on 31 Dec 2011, 08:28 GMT

hunting for wind and medical complications!

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On Ice



58 km  

2850 m above sea level



-88.1210 / -85.7065

Saturday morning: Our friends in ‘Team Earthworm’ are still heading north in highly irregular leaps and boundses. Some is due to the wind – or lack of it, other to the angle but also due to normal problems while kiting. The last three days have given them 0km, 58km and 28km…

The 58 day was good, though the wind was at a hard angle and they were pushed away from the 80° Longitude they plan on following. Yesterday was short as it dawns on them that this will be hard work and that kiting out in no free-ride. Lines break, bindings malfunction, kites collapse or collide, sledged turn over in the sastrugi and fingers and toes have to constantly ‘play the piano’ to generate heat.

Still, they edge north. The niggling problems are not enough to dampen the spirit (just testing patients) and it looks like they will pass the 88° Parallel just before the New Years Celebrations!

Back, closer to home, another fight is taking place. Ottar is in hospital in Paris. The wounds he got in the way to the South Pole took a turn for the worst while in Chile. As he hasted back home (and to a job that refused to wait) these big frostbite / wounds between his legs (a very vulnerable place for polar explorers) was infected. On the flight over the Atlantic the pain grew to new levels and on arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport he was sent directly to the hospital. There he has been operated on and is still there. He hopes to be transferred to a hospital in Norway early net week. The French hospital is quite French – he is in bed and has no Euro. They do not take his credit card and there is no cash machine there. So he has no tv, no internet no nothing. Boring food and just a wall as entertainment. Not much Moulin Rouge there… but wishing he was out there with the others.

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