Summarised news from BELISSIMA today: all is well. I suspect the various relay stations kind of loose some information in the transmitting process, but hey, let's not be sorry about the lack of drama here. One anecdote came through from the team that got back: our guys are not excessively good at taking care of themselves, and tend to favour a monomaniac diet: first, eat all the chocolate, then, eat all the cereal bars, then eat all the cheese, then, "meal-jack" the mechanic who's been preparing a nice hot sauerkraut! I haven't verified the source, neither did
I cross-check with any other version, so just take this piece of information for what it is: plain ol' gossip!
Base camp was as usual apart from the two René's –current BCM and the photographer, aka Crazy Frenchie- getting ready to leave first thing tomorrow morning (around 05.00 AM, so that will be a pretty heavy waving out duty!). Since Crazy Frenchie is also a very experienced mountaineer, who knows the area around here pretty well, yours truly suggested a little field trip this afternoon (before I have to move with a radio, a satellite phone, and the overburdening weight of BCM responsibilities on my fragile shoulders).
And here I am back, eyes still full of ice cathedrals, gone quiet from taking the majestic beauty in. Honestly, I was starting to worry about my quite domestic adventures over here (all point taken if there's some brow frowning at this point). But this afternoon…I walked on ice for the first time, and apart from the scenery, crushing crystals with each footstep sent shivers down my spine, for there is nothing like hearing a myriad microclusters flowing over ice, sounding like a thousand delicate chimes… My my, I had a full two hours of pure poetry walking around the nunatak (which is basically the mountain, but in a fancy polar saying: actually, it's an inuit word meaning "the mountain above the ice", quite right thus…), passing through the windscoop, and getting back down along the ridge. The windscoop is at the other side of the nunatak and, as the name might give away, is a "scooped" form in snowy ice, created by wind turbulences along the nunatak's flank. The ice looks so pure and dense it reflects the blue from the sky, thus creating a surreal bluish shine on the pink granite, where couples of snow petrels nest. I took it all in, watching my eyes out, feeling the crushing ice under my studs, tasting tears blown by the wind crystallized on my cheeks and melting back on my lips…Still too woozy for sarcasm today, sorry folks!
Praise for the Crazy Frenchie: Merci René :-)