The ISCE team are fully committed to getting Scott, the Antarctic and polar science into the classroom, this year and the next, and their aim is to build one of the largest ever on-line and interactive education platforms.
Mike Peake, in the Daily Telegraph, February 12, 2011
We ventured deeper into Finnmark. The landscape is predominantly tundra with gashes of peaty bogs and sprays of mirror-calm lakes. The route for travellers is marked twice, for warm and snowy conditions. The winter route is picked out with baleful cairns and crosses. â€˜Remotenessâ€™ isnâ€™t a straightforward concept these days, e.g. Antarctica has more internet hosts than all of Nigeria and Antarctic icebergs are known to have calved off after Marchâ€™s Japanese earthquakes. More was known of the moon in 1969, than of Antarctica when Scott set sail in 1910 â€“ it wasnâ€™t even certain the continent wasnâ€™t an archipelago.
We covered 17 km on foot, starting with backpacks but pulling pulks for the last half. Lemmings had run rivulets across the fresh snow and we fell silent when we reached a herd of reindeer. As Antony explained reindeer have poor eyesight, and true to form, they walked only into the wind and their ankles clicked like Rice Krispies.
Felt like I didnâ€™t sleep a wink last night, but still enthusiastically hurled my-self out of my frozen sleeping bag as I was on stove duty, ready for the challenges that the day would bring. By 8.30am the team were fully packed and soon tackled the 17km hike that would lead to our next camp. Taking it in turns to lead, we set off at a steady pace of 4km per hour, passing scenic sights such as reindeer herds, snow capped hills and lemmingâ€™s scuttling away from us squeaking. After roughly 10km, the snow was deep enough for us to once again use our sleds. The highlights were the downhill parts, where I would leap onto my sled and rapidly descend down. Days are running into one and I am struggling to remember the date everyday, which is a great sign that I am getting fully into this expedition. What a great experience this is all.
A fantastic day for training. There was a rare break from the mist and rain and we were greeted with sunshine and fresh snow. We woke refreshed for a day of distance walking. Packing up the tent proved problematic as we found all the guy ropes and straps frozen solid. Trying to release them, whilst wearing giant gloves was challenging - a great test for Antarctic conditions. Finally we were underway and making a good pace across the plateau. We were greeted half way by our Norwegian guide. There was more snow on the trail ahead so we would be able to use our pulks. We trotted along in good spirits, taking time to look at the local herds of reindeer that were wandering across our path. The conditions were so good we arrived early at our camp site, in time to enjoy the scenery before dark.
Itâ€™s amazing what you do to pass time in a tent. With night falling around 3pm we tend to spend a lot of time cooped up in there, squished together like so many peas in a pod. Last night, a game of eye spy went on for two hours, while the limerick contest was inspired, particularly my entry about a man from Nantucket â€“ a definite winner whatever the others may say. The limerick motif has continued into today, keeping the mind engaged as you trek along, pulk bumping behind you - remind me to include my one about Henry and the lemmings in a future blog. We take it in turns to take the lead, blazing a trail through the snow, making sure we break every hour. The bleak landscape is straight out of a western and itâ€™s hard not to get the convoy moving with a cry of â€˜wagons, rollâ€™. Iâ€™m afraid Iâ€™ve succumbed...