|2005-02-06 - What a difference!
6 Feb, 05 - 17:08
GPS-pos: N67°31´ | E154°33´ | Alt: 8 M
-46°F at 9 a.m. and we´ve pitched camp at N 67°31´57.2 and E 154°33´05.8. We´ve put 55 km:s of Kolyma behind us during 3 days of skiing.
In comparison with our trip between Zyryanka and Srednekolymsk, after only 3 days of skiing, we´ve discovered two major and important difference´s! Namely daylight and the arrival of the sun!
Life is so much easier now. During the last slog from Zyryanka to Srednekolymsk the temperature was exactly the same, no matter what time of the day it was. If it was -60°F early in the morning, it was exactly the same 7 hours later. And the sun never made it´s way over the treetops. We lived in a dark and horribly cold world. It felt like an eternal fridge. Now, however, the sun rises at 9.15 a.m. and sets at 4.15 p.m. This means we have four hours of really bright sun every day, right now! Which also means, when we reach 1 p.m. the warmest hour of the day, the temperature has risen to -22°F! 24 degrees warmer, now, that makes a major difference in our life!
During this time, for example, the worst body sweat dries up -during the former stretch this used to freeze to ice as quick as we stopped moving!- and we only have to change gloves once a day, your feet are never cold, there´s no major risk of frostbite (one note, though, we´ve had no wind resistance yet) and, most important, for the first time, since this never occurred on the last stretch, we can even stop for a few minutes, look around and enjoy the scenery and life itself!
Another example of the difference, on the last stretch we were frozen to the bone as quick as it was time to pitch the tent, make our way into it and we froze every single second. We never felt warm and comfortable. Now, the sun warms us and the tent to such a degree, that when we hit the sack, we feel relaxed and comfortable. This is really important for one´s sleep. And our pulks are far easier to pull as quick as the temperature rises above -40°F.
However, let me note that extreme changes of weather and temperature can occur any second in Siberia. And our pulks are heavier and it is still a fact, that it takes an enormous effort to pull 220 lbs. per person. But, judging after three days, fitness is at least a step better than before and, it seems like luck is on our side, temporarily, since the two giant ravens, Hugin and Munin, showed up again yesterday.