(April 19th) Day 18
We decided to really make a big push today to try and reach the end of the valley leading to Viks Fiord, 14 miles away.
The first 6 miles went well until I broke my modified binding so I decided to walk for the next couple of miles until the next rest stop. However Mark persuaded me to try and ski with just the toe loop. Despite having to make comical limping movements – a lot like Herr Flick from ‘Allo Allo’ – it was easier than walking much of the time.
Noses are understandably a weak point out here being fairly prominent and much more exposed than much of the rest of our bodies. Ian has been having occasional nose bleeds caused by the cold dry air – and he had another today but struggled on through it. Phil’s nose lost all circulation and turned porcelain white - as we caught it in time it was easy to keep it warm which prevented it becoming a serious problem – but we do have to be really careful and watch out for each other.
But for me it was my left foot which gave me trouble today - it was painful from the very first step. When I got the chance to look at it I found that the sole was red and puffy but not blistered. I think this was caused by the vapor barrier liners we wear in our boots. These are basically plastic bags which stop sweat going into our boots and turning them into blocks of ice when it freezes. I think my foot got too sweaty in the warm weather yesterday so I am trying to dry it out – easier said than done!
Tonight we camp on the banks of Viks Fiord and tomorrow we will finish our crossing of Devon Island!