December 21 – Day 2 of the Storm…

The team experiencing high winds on a hill 2 days ago. The beginning of the storm… but we didnt know it yet. Looking towards camp (from the moraine on the E side of the icefield, below Mt. Ward)

This storm is pretty bad, y’all. I am not sure I really hit that point home with the last post. At about 3am, the winds got really bad – yes worse than those 50mph constant ones we were getting. Rougeux and Jim packed up their stuff in their Scott Tent today because they were expecting the worst. John S said we had gusts of up to 60 miles an hour… and you can tell at camp. It really needs some help. The science tent technically works but is basically kaput. A second line on the tent snapped and the only reason it’s still standing is because Rougeux parked his skidoo on it to keep one side pinned down to the ground.

Apparently last year at Miller Range, there was a storm like this. Jim said this is worse though because at least at Miller, the snow piled up, burying things, including the sides of the tents. Here, the wind is stripping everything away. Our food boxes (some weighing over 100 lbs) have shifted around with the wind and are now being used to keep the edges of the tents down on the ground (no more snow!). John S said the last storm he experienced like this was in Meteorite Hills back in 2001 (almost 18 years ago!). Rougeux says we’re “lucky” to experience an Antarctic storm of this magnitude… but I am not sure if lucky is the word I’d use.
Things are staring to “calm down” though. Winds are going down to the 30-40mph range and the pressure is dropping. We’re thinking it’ll break tonight… hoping at least.

See you on the other side, Sheridan