Our progress these last couple of days has been somewhat hindered by continuous snowfall which sticks to the skis and sledges, increasing their drag. In the afternoon it really makes the going tough, especially today when we were reduced to a crawl, quite literally!
Pat’s sledge, “The James Caird”, is really having problems in these conditions. Although the repairs we made last week are holding up, we think that the gash down the side is having a negative effect on the sledges rigidity and thus causing it to warp. It certainly is making it very hard to pull. This should improve once we get out of this powder snow, in the meantime we’ve repacked it in order to put as little weight on the damaged area as possible.
Needless to say the other two sledges, “The Dudley Docker” and “The Stancome Wills” are fairing much better.
Another point of concern is that the whiteout conditions are making it impossible to use the solar panels to charge up our battery packs. However, we have an emergency supply of lithium batteries which will ensure that our sat phone, our only link with the outside world, remains charged for these dispatches and emergencies.