The day of the snotcicles

I really wanted to take a picture of a snotcicle but it’s not as easy as it sounds. So instead here is a picture of Barb on her skidoo searching the enchanted mountain ice field.

We woke up to an eerie stillness and calmness. No winds. At all. We were utterly excited and started getting dressed right away since this meant we would go out searching again. We hurried through our morning routine and were out tending to our skidoos at 8:40am already. At 8:55am we were ready to roll. We went back to the enchanted mountain ice field and finished systematically searching it. The temperature had dropped quite a bit throughout the last 12 hours though and soon we realized that it was a very cold day. Lots of hopping, running around skidoos, and ice chipper lifting was done to stay warm. Surprisingly it seemed that I was the warmest of us today. It might haven been due to my 8 layers, though I think it is due to my new peanut m&m diet (thank you, Cari!!!). The wind of course had picked up as soon as we had left camp making the day even colder than it already was. The peculiar thing about really cold days is that ones nose starts to produce A LOT of snot. It is like someone turns on a faucet in your face, it drips constantly. Our noses hurt the most anyways because all moisture freezes inside the nose when breathing in through it. So most of us have become mouth breather in the field (unfortunately that means we get dehydrated more easily so we are extra careful to drink lots). While breathing through ones mouth however, the nose is left dripping. Happily dripping away. Especially on days like today. And because of the cold the nose becomes numb and soon you won’t even feel that the nose is dripping anymore. The problem is that liquid turns to ice in these conditions here. And dripping liquid turns into icicles. So after a while we all had icicles hanging off our noses, also called snotcicles. Sometimes those snotcicles att ach themselves to a beard (if you have one), or the wind moves them around a bit and they get partially attached to your balaclava while they form, or they simply break and fall to your feet making a lovely clinging noise. We even had a snotcicle that the wind swung up while still pliable, got attached to the googles and then froze. It was very impressive. At 1pm we had enough of our snotsicles and being cold so we decided to warm up in camp and eat lunch inside the tents. After lunch we drove to our moraines and did foot searching. The wind was less strong here and by walking around it was easier to stay warm. We increased our meteorite count by 17 today which brings it to a total of 168. Now we are back inside our tents and our noses are very red, glossy, and shiny from all the vaseline. We look like Rudolph the reindeer. Our noses have time to heal until tomorrow morning when the whole snotsicle spectacle starts anew.

Juliane with a very red and shiny nose, Mt. Cecily, Jan. 6th, Antarctica at 8pm