— Geoff Evatt | 10 Dec 2019
Hello from Outer Recovery, where Wouter, Rob, and I are currently in a Scott tent (a pyramid-shaped tent, with just enough room for three people and a stove). Rob and I were the first people here, having been flow in by BAS pilots Mark and Dutch — thank you guys. Flying here from Halley gave us a good view of the Outer Recovery ice fields, and they were spectacular, if a little brief, as we were running low on fuel and landed pretty sharpish. The wind was strong when we exited the plane and checked for crevasses, making us feel rather chilled. BUT once the tent was up and we got warmer clothes on, we felt much better. We even had chance to take in the vast polar plateau that surrounded us, stretching for hundreds of kilometres all around, with only one small ice rise to vary the scene. Yet no sooner had we taken it in, Wouter was flown in along with half of our equipment. He joined us in our tent, probably somewhat disappointed as when he set off he thought he was flying to the luxury of Halley rather than the horror of sharing a small tent with two other stinky guys. On the plus side Rob has been keeping us topped up with food and drink (freeze-dried curry and tea).
After all the excitement of getting here we slept for hours, despite the high elevation of the sun (we are at 81.5 degrees south!). News then came in that we might be here for a few days whilst the non-trivial logistics behind getting the rest of the equipment plus Romain and Katie here, went underway. To make the most of the time, and a lull in the wind, we assembled a sledge system and powered it up…….. and it worked. It worked pretty well. Admittedly this is with it not being towed, but it passed the first test with (anticipated) relief.
Another night in the tent went by fine, seeing us drift into 12 hour sleeps! (Something in the tea no doubt). That said, before bed I read Hemmingway’s The Snows of Kilamanjaro, which whilst superb, may not have been the best read for here just before bed (can one easily get gangrene in Antarctica?).
Further updates this morning suggest that we might start seeing planes bringing equipment in from tomorrow, which would see us well on track (big thanks to everyone at BAS for helping sort out these non-trivial logistics, much appreciated). In the meantime we drink tea, take very short walks, and admire the bleak beauty of Outer Recovery.