ENJOYING THE SCENERY

Day 11 on Terrain

Position: 69°19'33"N, 47°13'19"W
Altitude: 5633ft

Currently sitting in the tent, sipping on a black coffee with sugar, warming my bloodless, frozen feet by the stove. We were up at 3am again today, embracing the frigid temperatures (as much as they can be embraced) to set off and start the daily grind. Mileage becomes an obsession. Geoff and I had forecast for steady wind to come in last night with gold strength for us to gain significant kilometres during that evening, and into today as well. Alas, the wind we anticipated hadn't arrived, so we were reluctant to rise from our ever-cosy sleeping bags until the conditions produced a little more Chutzpah. It's very much a game of strategy, this type of kite-assisted ice travel. Knowing when to push, when to rest and recover and thus for the most part, our life revolves around these core principles.

There is so much time to think out here as one waltzes with the kite for hours upon hours. This kind of environment is so conducive to epiphanies and safe wisdoms learnt in Mother Nature’s wild courts.

I thought I'd give you a little glimpse into my psyche today, which was around the concept of perspective! It's so crucial to be a keen purveyor of perspective and considering everything "in the scheme of things." I think we get so bogged down by the ebbs and flows of our busy lives that often lose sight of what is urgent, verses what is important.

In the context of our situation - we can become so fixated on moving forward and obsessing over the next wind angle or forecast that we can neglect to appreciate the small things. For example: the boundless, dazzling plains of white and blue or the intricacies and patterns of ice crystals that form on the roof of your tent from the condensation of your breath in the night. Perspective is worth its weight in gold in an environment where physical exhaustion looms and continually threatens to take it away. Thus, we removed the scales from our mile-obsessed eyes and took the day as it came, one kilometre and swoop of the kite at a time.

We had a spectacular morning; riding in the light wind that accompanied the dawn, then strong wind, then light wind again! Consequently, we had 3 kite changes in the first 2 hours!! Body’s exhausted but fresh in mind and spirit, we pushed further and further, absorbing all the curiosities and surrounds of this unique environment. The spirit of adventure is alive and thriving.

We were forced to pull up stumps at about 5pm (long day, yes, but we had so much fun, we hardly noticed) due to another bout of light wind and sticky snow. Now we rest, for tomorrow is a new day, with new snow, new wind and a new adventure - excitingly waiting to be unveiled.

By the way, we managed 159km today.

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