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Sleep, Lectures and Snow
Thursday, December 16, 1999

Mark Sicola
The Team's Call from Antarctica
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Hey MountainZone, Mark Sicola, with the Antarctica '99 Ski and Snowboard Expedition. Well, it's Thursday the 16th, day 17, and we're still here. Last night we gave a show & tell to all the clients and staff here at ANI, basically going over what each person's responsibility on the expedition was and where all their talents lay and how that helped to create a successful expedition.

After a long night of using bacon and eggs, we ventured out into the Patriot Hills snowcave, which is an underground catacomb of frozen food and ice, quite an adventure. Doug Coombs is currently involving the team in an experiment of sleep technology. We've all been averaging about 12 to 16 hours of sleep a day, waking up around 6pm and going to sleep around 8am in the morning. Team morale is good. We all miss our loved ones and family and can't wait to get home.

Today Mark Newcomb gave quite an informative talk on avalanches and avalanche science to an audience of about 20 to 30 people. And then after dinner, Alain Hubert, a client that's here to check out some climbing terrain in Queen Maud Land, gave a lecture on his previous Antarctic crossing, using various parasail technologies to sail across the ice barrier, which was really an impressive talk. At times, they would cover up to 100 kilometers in an hour and one day they covered, in a 24-hour period, they covered over 270 kilometers, on skis with sleds and windpower.

The runway is currently covered in about 16 inches of snow, still windy here, winds are gusting up to 40 miles per hour and visibility right now is about 200 feet I'd imagine. The prospect of a C-130 landing any time soon does not look good. Right now Coombs and Stephen Koch just finished a nice little grudge match of chess and we're all looking forward to getting home. So until then, Antarctica '99 Ski and Snowboard Expedition signing off. Ciao.

— Mark Sicola, Correspondent


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