Fly to: Santiago, Chile
Internal Transfer: Santiago - Cohaique
Visa required: Not if British
Time Zone:-3hrs GMT
Day 26, 29/11/07 - Patagonia Northern Icecap
2:15am weather check; still no freeze, however it was decided that we should pack up camp and hope the temperature would drop closer to dawn. We packed up and luckily a slight crust had formed over the snow, this was enough to make us start our ascent up to the firn line.
I was 4th on the same rope team as before which meant I didn't have to pull a sled. Nicki was 2nd on a rope team with Jaya (1) & Evans (3). Ian, Dale, Jaya & Nicki were all pulling sleds today.
Ian started crying as he struggled to pull himself & his sled out of a crevasse, he looked like he was struggling to control it from the off. Today was an intensely long day for those pulling the sleds; we travelled 14km across the glacier which was good going. The day felt absolutely fine for Ben, Evans & I but that was purely because we weren't pulling any extra weight; fair play to those who were, strangely I really wanted to be pulling a sled today.
The weather was good today allowing us an amazing view of how beautiful the icecap could be it was stunning, flat with huge peaks rising from it - gorgeous. We then reached the spot at which camp would be pitched; Ian stood forming the central point of the circle; Ben & Dale separated by 15m of rope stretched out probing the ground to a 2m depth, they probed a circular area with a cross inside. Once probed the area was then deemed safe and the rest of us entered the parameter and de-packed.
As Nic passed me she looked pretty exhausted, then she said this was more to do with the fact she'd needed a poo for the last 2hrs. I knew exactly what she meant on the poo front because I too had been hanging on, waddling with clenched cheeks! Unfortunately for Nic she fessed up to Ben her need for a crap, not good as he then announced, 'Everyone Nicki needs a poo!' and handed her a biodegradable bag! OMG am I so glad I kept my poo to myself!
After a brief introduction to using a poo bag Nicki then had the delightful task of publicly being the 1st to poo on the icecap. She instructed the rest of us to turn around and we began with building our individual snow walls. First we had to dig out a platform and then used the dig-out snow to form the basis of the walls. Ben then showed us how to use the snow saws (found in the handles of our shovels) and we were off cutting some fine building blocks.
I've got to admit our wall looked pretty damn impressive, very sturdy; I for one was well impressed with it. After we'd finished the wall I then snuck over to the poo zone. Slightly different method than Nic; I opted to poo on the snow and then scoop it up in the bag, hmm pretty effective!!!!