My first blog entry on this trip, written almost precisely 2 months ago amid the classic week 14 storm, dealt with the enjoyment of skiing, everything the step of it. Since this is highly likely to be my final entry while on lead, I consider it almost duty to report on whether it's still truth. How did, in my eyes, the trip evolve? Is skiing still fun?
Let's begin with the obvious physical changes around us. No more night and stars for start, though our very own eider ducks keeping us company 24 hours a day. So we switched to eerie time (GMT +12) work at midnight, sleep in the day and ski when Europe sleeps. .. even fast, ski ice forms only to be broken up again when temperature soars by at least 30 degrees to a comfortable 0°C. Since blue weather from the all the corners of the compass road yet, like the inhabitants of California anticipate the great earthquakes, we are still waiting for the real big storm. This now transformed compound making track, making a real battle of frictional forces, often almost lifting the pulkas of the ground. In every conditions our sledges only followed our skis since like I maintained 2 months ago, being able to enjoy these short, far steps, that bring you to the point when you want to vomit out of exhaustion is the key, and yes, I still enjoy every minute on my skis.
Then there is our group, undergoing its own internal transformation. Over the week the initial keen spirit was overprinted by the development of unofficial coalitions. This natural breakup was far from unexpected. For our group is made up of great individuals operating at specific wavelengths, that was bitter at times and sad nonetheless. In a way I guess we'll all remember this trip in different ways, each personal magic moments in memories. ... the majestic ... in front, the towering peaks of the lifting clouds that turn white out into blue sky, we've been very fortunate to see Spitzbergen from this side, step after step.
Finally the time has come to take off the skis, leave challenges hide behind the corner and extract tundra, falling rivers, captivating swamps and all the unfamiliar motion of hiking, all conspired to make the last week up here one to remember. At least it's how I feel now. I guess you can ask me in a week if I was right.
As I said before, this trip is a realized dream for me. Now that the time has come to wake up, I wish I could snooze the alarm clock a few times. On the other hand, opening your eyes to a new day you see there is something to look forward to.
Greetings from our last snowy camp,