January 18, 2001
Hello, this is Ann and Liv from the ice. Itís Day 67 and we are on the move again. We arrived at the South Pole on Tuesday the 16th at 4 in the afternoon.
Our time has been busy and a little bit exhausting. We tried to rest, but that was impossible. There are so many nice people there. Both Ann and I met people from our previous expedition, so it was nice to see old friends and new friends again.
We managed to stray out from the Pole. There was a bit of a breeze, so we used the 32-square-meter NASA and we followed the runway. It went very slowly, but luckily the wind picked up a bit and we covered 66.8 kilometers today.
We stopped because we were so tired. We almost fell asleep when we were sailing. It was very cold so we figured we should pitch the tent and sleep. There hasnít been much sleep in the last six days.
We havenít decided which time to follow. If we are going back to Greenwich Mean Time, which we followed before we reached the Pole. Right now it is 11:20 New Zealand time and this means 13 hours less in Greenwich Mean Time. So itís morning and night.
But we definitely need to sleep. Weíll decide tomorrow or the coming week what time zone weíll be in.
We are climbing. Weíre 2,924 above sea level. Itís cold, minus-75 degrees and a breeze outside, so weíre looking forward to creeping into our sleeping bags.
Take care, bye-bye.
January 13, 2001
Hi, this is Ann and Liv from the ice. Itís day 61, Saturday the 13th.
It has been a hard day. We woke up with no windÖthe last 2-3 weeks has been a lack of wind and also lack of food, but donít worry we have calories. Most of it is chocolate. We have chocolate for two weeks, bars, sports drinks and coco; so donít worry about that. We have fuel for more than 2 weeks. So we are in good shape to reach the pole without starving. For instance, yesterday Ann and I split a cup of soup, chicken soup, and this watery chicken soup really tasted delicious because of the salt in it. We also have one dinner left that weíll share and save for a long training day.
We got up the mountain this morning after a good rest. We were shoveling awayÖso we decided to just wait for wind because we saw some clouds coming in from the west and hoped that it would bring some wind, but it didnít. So, we have only moved 3.9 kilometers today.
The temperature this morning was Ė33 and right now it is sunny with some clouds in the west. Weíve had a good rest today so we are ready to keep going tomorrow. The terrain is quite fascinating. You donít recognize the terrainÖwhen you get out of the tent in the morning the terrain looks totally different, because of the lighting has changed. The sun has come from another angle or it has frozen. Itís really fascinating to see. Ann and I have been here before but we have never seen so different a change. It can be totally flat; itís going up and down. Itís really a big change from what we have experienced earlier.
So, when we are out there and skiing we are really enjoying where we are. But we are really feeling the stress the days going to fast. We havenít had one big discussion. But we laugh and try to keep our spirits up. We figured we would reach the pole in the beginning of January and two weeks later we are still close but still far away. The worst case, we will be at the pole next Sunday and the best case we will be there in 2 days.
We are also sending some greetings today. We are looking forward to go fly-fishing with you when we come back. And also to our president of Yourexpedition BAE team in Minneapolis. We know you get a lot of questions about when we will reach the pole. So, if you take your guitar out and sing, "the answer my friend is blowing in the wind".
All of us from Ann and Liv, we will check-in tomorrow. Bye-bye.
January 11, 2001
Hi, this is Ann and Liv from the ice again. Day 59, Thursday the 11th of January.
Thanks to all of you who have been dancing the wind dance. We got a breeze today as well. It was 3 to 5 meters per seconds. Weíre now 89.6 kilometers closer to the pole. This morning we used the 15-meter sail and when the wind dropped at noon, we used the NASA sail. That big, 3 sided, 32 meter sail that we have. It went slowly but we have been on the skis for more than 12 hours. So itís good to sit down right now.
It was an extraordinary day. Weíve had all kinds of weather. We started with sun, then we had whiteout, snow, and now we have clouds again. Just before the sun came up, it was really dramatic in all directions. The sun was shining on clouds close to the horizon. And Ann thought she saw tornados. It was really dramatic and dark.
The surface has been quite good today. There have been some sastrugis, but pretty flat terrain. That was a relief in the hours that we sailed in white out.
We need three more days of wind to get to the pole, so keep on dancing and we will check in tomorrow.
January 9, 2001
Hi, this is Ann and Liv from the ice. Itís day 57, January 9th and itís our 9th day without wind.
The temperature this morning was minus 25. Itís sunny and thereís a little breeze from the North East that we hope will pick up and bring us to the South Pole.
We have been pulling all day and the terrain is changing very fastóice and sastrugi, and we have covered 19 kilometers today and have 458 left to the Pole.
Actually we had a good day. We woke up to a really quiet morning and mentally prepared for a day pulling.
The snow crystals are amazing. Especially when itís an open space with no sastrugi. It glimmers like millions of diamonds.
Itís been a nice day. We are still, of course, thinking about the wind. And at day 57 we really hoped to be at the pole, because we brought food and diet for only 57 days. But we havenít been eating it all so we still have food left, so there are no worries. And we have fuel for another twenty days.
Things are going slowly because a lack of the wind, but weíre still hopeful. Our team in Minneapolis has looked at the wind map and has seen some winds coming our way.
So hopefully we will check in tomorrow with more kilometers than we had today.
All the best, take care from your friends, Ann and Liv in Antarctica.
January 7, 2001
Hello, this is Ann and Liv from the ice. Itís Sunday the 7th of January. If you hear some noise itís Ann playing the mouth harp in the background.
A lot of people have cried really hard for us. 5 days with white out, but the last two days there has been sun. And today there was a positive thing. The breeze came from the East again. Weíve had head wind for 2 Ĺ days. Hopefully the wind will pick up tomorrow and we can get the sails up on the sleds and get some kilometers again.
We covered 15.9 kilometers today. There are 494 kilometers left to the Pole.
We have sun with some clouds. There is very light breeze from the East at 1.5 to 1.8 meters per second. Hopefully it will pick up tomorrow.
Our plan was to reach the pole by Tuesday but thatís impossible. But hopefully weíll get the wind and will see the South Pole soon.
We woke up to white out today. Last night we got a message from our team in Minniapolis. They told us that we might get headwind and it actually happened. The wind drove the white out away around noon. We have been skiing and pulling the sleds in headwind for a couple hours. Hopefully the headwind will disappear or change direction and help bring us closer to the pole.
We have covered very few miles or kilometers in the last few days and it is kind of frustrating for us. Yesterday was kind of hard; sitting in the white out and stumbling around in the tent and in the sastrugis. Itís not a good feeling to have made so few miles.
Right now the sun is shining and the temperatures are nice inside the tent, so itís a nice evening.
We covered 8.7 kilometers today and we have 526 kilometers left to the pole. We are moving slowly but still optimistic. We need a few days with good wind and then we will be at the South Pole. If we have to pull the whole way, we will need 22 to 23 more days. So we really hope for more wind.
Keep on singing wind songs and dancing wind dances.
All the best from Ann and Liv.
January 3, 2001
Hello, this is Ann and Liv from the windiest continent in the world, but we donít have that feeling.
Itís day 51 and we havenít moved one centimeter. We woke up to a total white out this morning. It was impossible to see at all, even the sleds outside our camp. And there was a light snowfall. There has been a light snowfall all day, which is quite unusual. Weíve had snow a couple times, but not all day. We are supposed to be in a desert. Itís quite unusual weather.
We got a report from our team in Minneapolis that other people in Antarctica have experienced the same. There has never been so much snow before, so little wind and not such high sasstrugi, so weíre not alone.
We hope to get the sails out tomorrow morning .We can almost see the horizon now and it seems to be clearing up. Hopefully we can get up really early tomorrow morning and get some more kilometers.
Itís a really tough area weíre in, with the high sasstrugi. The wind is quite low, itís just a breeze. And weíre using the huge NASA sails, 32 meters, which demands a lot of hard work with the legs and arms.
Imagine a frozen ocean, a stormy ocean, with waves one meter high, and you go over it at quite high speeds. You have to steer the NASA sail using your arms, and work every minute and every second. So itís really hard for the arms and the legs. And definitely for Annís shoulders.
At the end of the long day on Monday, she was really in pain. But sheís eager to get to the pole as well. Sheís taken some medicine now, so we hope sheíll get better. Hopefully weíll check in tomorrow night with better mileage.
The temperature this morning was minus 20 and right now itís minus 16 and clearing in the West, so we hope weíll have some better whether tomorrow night.
Thatís all for now, take care and all the best from Ann and Liv in a very white Antarctic.
Itís January 1st and we have reached 85 degrees South. We had a really hard day of sailing. We woke up to white out and have been sailing all day through an area of really heavy sastrugi. Weíve sailed for 9 and a half hours.
Thereís still a breeze outside of the tent so we hope to sail tomorrow as well. Weíve had a breeze for the last 4 days. Keep on singing wind songs and dancing wind dances.
December 14, 2000
Hi friends, this is Ann and Liv from Antarctica, Thursday, December 14th. We sailed for almost 7 hours today, but the wind isnít very strong so weíve gone about 62 kilometers or 38.4 miles. Itís minus 25 Celsius and we have been going down, so the altitude is 2825. Itís about 9670 ft.
The terrain has been beautiful. We have been sailing over really flat terrain, like an airstrip, and awful areas with tremendously difficult sastrugis. Luckily it lasted for only two hours and then Annís sled tipped over in one of the sastrugis. Now we are on flat land again.
Hopefully we will get wind again tomorrow again. For those of you who are singing wind songs and dancing wind dances please keep doing it because the wind wasnít very strong today and we really need it.
We woke up this morning to Ė10 Celsius, totally quiet and a light snow fall. We can actually go out in our long johns. Itís very odd. It was white out and we pulled the sleds for about 6 hours over high sastrugi and carpets of thick and very sticky snow. It was really hard work and we only made 12.7 Kilometers. The altitude is 3015 meters, so weíve gone down about 17 meters since yesterday. Right now itís minus 25 outside and still totally quiet.
This is the sixth day with no wind and we wondered if you kids out there could help us. We know that there are rain dances and rain songs, but if you could help us with a wind song or a wind dance, we would appreciate that very much.
Well, we pull everyday and are still praying for wind. Thatís the most important thing for us now, to get wind. Weíll check in again tomorrow and hopefully weíll have moved with our sails.
We woke up to white out and were very optimistic because there was wind. But unfortunately the wind came from the South West. That means a headwind for us. So we skied for several hours, about 8 kilometers. It was minus 28 degrees this morning.
Then we thought we recognized some of the same type of weather we had a couple of weeks ago. On that day the wind really picked up in the afternoon and at night. We thought we should make camp, wait for the wind and then sail all night.
But right now its 7.30 at night Greenwich time, and there is no wind. Itís quiet, the sun is back, and itís the same calm weather weíve had since Wednesday.
I think some of you are wondering why we donít walk or pull more than we do. We are trying to use a combination of both. Sailing is really tough, like hard telemark skiing. We canít reach the South Pole without many, many hours of sailing. If we pull, we wonít reach the South Pole until springtime. Thatís why we donít use all our strength for just pulling. Itís also really hard with so much snow. The elevation is 11,000 feet and we feel that as well. Thatís why we donít pull 8 to 10 hours a day. We usually pull 6 hours a day.
We are still waiting for the wind. We canít do anything but wait. If the wind comes tonight then weíll get up and sail. Hopefully it will come.
We have had a really cold day, -30c this morning and very low wind. We have been sailing, really cold sailing. We had to put on the zone parka and had problems keeping warm both our hands and feet, but it was a really beautiful day.
The horizon that Ann talked about yesterday had all different blue colors. It started with really light blue and then right above us it was just the color of our sails ó a royal blue.
Behind us it started to get cloudy. So, we hope we get some more wind tomorrow so we can cover more distance because we really need to get going now to get over the continent.
The moon is getting bigger and bigger. I spoke of it a couple of days ago. In the Northern Hemisphere the moon is getting less and less, but here it is getting bigger and bigger, so we will start to have full moons some day. We are having midnight sunsets, but itís really hard to spot them.
We are still far north so the sun is quite low during the night and the nights are really cold here.
Well, this is all from Ann and Liv for this day and we will check-in tomorrow.
December 2, 2000
Hi team. This is Ann and Liv from Antarctica. Itís Saturday, December 2nd.
Altitude is 3,074 meters. Itís Ė25c and weíve had a sunny day. We have been sailing for a couple of hours. There have been a lot of sastrugi.
Ann has a problem. She stretched her muscle in her shoulder the day before yesterday and it really has hurt her. So, we canít sail as long as we want, but we feel happy with the distance we have made today ó 55.4 kilometers. We hope Ann will recover.
There is also a problem with the sastrugi. Itís like a frozen ocean, so the sleds are bumping over and we actual broke a thermos today.
All is well and we are concerned about Annís shoulder, but we will take it easy in the coming days so she has a chance to recover.
Altitude is 3,135 meters and I guess we are at the highest point we will be.
We have had another white out today. We have been sailing, really hard sailing and itís really hard for our legs and thighs, so we feel the lactic acid. We taste it actually.
We are not very satisfied with the distance, but we have been sailing quite well. It was really hard to tell this morning because we lost view of each other, but we tried to sail on one sail and we will have that opportunity tomorrow if we get the same weather.
November 28, 2000
Hello everybody, We havenít moved much today, we both had problems with our sails. One of my red lines let loose and made a salad. One of Annís ropes let loose and her sail disappeared, but she managed to run after it and get it, luckily. Iím dealing with my tow barórepairing it.
We had great expectations this morning so Iím a little bit frustrated now, but we still have 9 days to make the distance.
The altitude right now is 2,942 meters, so weíre actually higher than the South Pole. Itís minus 35 degrees Celsius, so itís a little bit chilly.
November 26, 2000
This is Ann and Liv on Sunday, the 26th. The Temperature this morning was minus 22 degrees and this evening itís minus 19.
We skied 13.8 kilometers today. We skied for an hour and sailed for a little bit more than an hour. But then my pull bars broke and we donít know why. Annís are still fine but weíll double check tomorrow.
She had heavier falls than me and we donít know mine broke. But we repaired it and will continue tomorrow, hopefully sailing.
All is well and have a nice week.
Love from Ann and Liv
November 22, 2000
Hi team. We skied 11.5 kilometers today. Itís been a really hard day. We skied to whiteout and have had whiteout all day. It is really hard to find our way through all the crevasses. It has been steep and we have worked hard.
I have just finished dinner. The sun is almost coming through right now, and we would really like to see where we are and where we are going. It is beautiful outside, kind of a dream landscape really. We are out of the crevasse area right now. I think that is all for now. Goodbye from Queen Maud Land, Antarctica.
November 20, 2000
Itís Ann and Liv from Antarctica. But we are not quite sure we are in Antarctica because it is still snowing and itís not supposed to snow because it is a dessert. So please check our coordinates to see if we are really here.
The altitude is 1,950 meters. We have been climbing. We had quite nice weather this morning so we could find our way out of the crevasse field. We have been climbing and working hard for six hours and have more climbing tomorrow. It has gone to whiteout and it is snowing, so we have no visibility right now. Itís Ė16c and we have had dinner. That is all for now. We are going to have some hot coco. All our best to all of you.
November 15, 2000
This is Ann and Liv from the Sygyn Glacier. Itís Nov. 15th and we have been climbing about 12 Ĺ hours today. We will go to white out. It will be easy because we have camped close to a crevasse. We used crampons and then after about an hour or so, we could change to skis. The weather improved; very good.
The last 3 or 4 hours we have been skiing in the beautiful weather. I can see the spectacular mountains along the Sygyn Glacier. It is quite hot. We decided to start with some easy days, so we skied for 5 Ĺ hours today.
Everything is well. All the best to the team in Minneapolis.
November 6, 2000
We havenít left yet. This is frustrating because for two years, Ann and I have thought Nov. 1 would be our start date.
Bad weather has the Ilyushin 76 (the plane) that will bring us to Queen Maud Land stuck in Punta Arenas, Chile. Before getting our way it has to transport other expeditions and gear to a base called Patriot Hills in Antarctica. This is close to Hercules Inlet, where both Ann and I started our previous South Pole Expeditions. The good thing is that the Twin Otter that transports the ground crew to the Blue 1, our landing place in Queen Maud Land, should arrive today.
We have had reports of terrible weather from the South Pole, and from the two Norwegian guys who wintered at Troll Station in Queen Maud Land. They have spent three days in their tent because of the wind.
Still, both Ann and I find the waiting hard and much more tiring than hard work. We are ready to go. We have checked our equipment and, again and again, found it as ready as we are. We are also mentally prepared for a delay. But with the length of our route and the short window of the Antarctic summer, we need the Gods of Weather on our side.
Cape Town is a nice place to be stuck. The people here are very nice. Our PR people have done a very good job. The locals have seen us on TV, heard us on the radio and read about us in the newspapers. We get good wishes when we are out trekking, dining or shopping.
Yesterday we had a great trek from Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, where we climbed the Skeleton Gorge and over the Table Mountain. We had a late lunch before we headed down the mountain via the gondola. I feel a bit uncomfortable in these, but it went well.
Among other things today, we have been shopping at the market. Itís not a favorite activity for any of us, but we found a necklace bearing an elephant charm.
I remembered a story from my childhood that said meeting an elephant meant luck. (The possibility of meeting an elephant in Norway is, of course, rare). We all now have an "Elephant Good Luck Talisman" around our necks.
Right now, Monday night, we are heading out for an African drum lesson. When we come back, it will be work hours in Minneapolis and Punta Arenas and we will check in, hopeful to get some good news.
October 1, 2000
Sunday and the same weather as yesterday morning. We decide to take it slowly before we head out in case the weather changes as it did yesterday. We clear the cabin, bring in wood for the oven and the fireplace, but the weather is still the same. My parents call; they want to come up and take a hike from the cabin and will walk the dog we have for the weekend. Einar and I plan to do the same lap, but in the opposite direction from last Sunday. 3-4 hours running and walking in the marshes. The marshes are much more wet today after all the rain earlier in the week. I feel a bit tired and for turning back, but I am thinking about the long trip starting in a month and continue. Without Einar up in front I might have turned back and when we finally come to the turning point, I thank him for being my ďhareĒ today. He knows that I have been running on my will today. When we are back at the cabin my legs feel like lead.
I have lost the tape with lessons I have made for the educational program and we start to make an introduction to the six lessons I have promised to make. Being tired and a bit scattered, Einar is again a great help. I feel more like making a fun video and give him some good laughs, but finally we have something to send off to ZoŽ at Base Camp who is taking care of our educational program at our Web site.
Back home I call Ann regarding the video cameras we are going to bring and then drive over to the man from Canon Norway that lives not far from me to bring our final orders.
September 30, 2000
First Saturday at home for weeks. Itís a warm, grey and rainy morning. We decide to be lazy and read the newspapers and watch the Olympic Games in Sydney. During the night we have gotten another gold medal with kayaker Knut Holman and later we watch Trine Hattestad win Norwayís third golden medal in javelin. I drive to Oslo to pick up Julie, a friend I crossed the Greenland Ice Cap with 10 years ago. She is in town with her 2Ĺ-year-old daughter, Maria. Julie is going to Cape Town to cover the send-off event there for different Norwegian magazines and TV. We seldom see each other, but keep in touch by phone. We havenít seen Maria for two years and she sure has become an active and verbal kid. She orders Einar, Birgitte and me around to be lions and other wild animals. When she finds the box with potato chips, we have some time to talk..
At 2 oíclock when Julie leaves the weather has changed. Itís sunny and the temperature 22į Celsius or about 75į Fahrenheit, just like a Norwegian summer day. We decide to take the kayaks out and have three hours on a quiet fjord encircled by trees in the colors of fall. We drive up to the cabin in the forest, pick up my brotherís dog, Pia, that we are going to ďbabysitĒ when he and his family is on holiday in Greece.
We have dinner and a short walk in the dark, and above us a clear sky with thousands of stars.
September 29, 2000
It is Annís birthday today. Iím starting the day driving around in my Volvo X-Country doing a lots of errands. I have the music on full volume. When Iím alone in the car and at home Iím playing mostly ethnic music that the rest of the family canít stay, and today Iím listening to Mari Boine a Sami singer and musician who also works with musicians from other cultures. Iím picking up the Gore-Tex dress we are going to use and also elbow and kneewarmers in a special wool. I call FedEx to send the dress to Minneapolis. They need to put the sponsor logos on. I also put a book in the box as a birthday present to Ann. Itís Roald Amundsenís diary from the first wintering in Antarctica with the Belgian Adrien DeGerlache. This wintering went well thanks to another well-known explorer, Frederick A. Cook, who wrote Through the First Antarctic Night 1898-1899 about this expedition. Amundsen learned a lot from Cook about polar travelling on this expedition. Later Amundsen was one of Cookís supporters when the controversy between Cook and Peary and the race to the North Pole took place.
Back home Einarís has taken the half-day off and we go for a run in the forest.
September 28, 2000
I visit Nina, my doctor friend, in the morning. She listens to my lungs, I take a lung test and a blood test. I have developed a kind of an asthmatic reaction after training with an infection. It sounds logical to me; my bronchia feel a bit dense when Iím training. I get a kind of powder to inhale morning and night.
After visiting Nina I drive the 20 minutes to Oslo for a lecture. It is in the IMAX Theatre and itís very difficult to see my own slides on the huge screen. The audience is people who are running Statoil gas stations in Norway; and the theme is communication and working in a team. After the lecture I call a friend who lives in the area and ask if I can drop in to see the last part of the Olympic soccer game between the U.S.A. and Norway. When I arrive Norway leads 2-1, but in the last minute the U.S. ties it up. There is going to be an extra round where the team that gets the first goal wins. I have to go and listen to the rest of the match in the car. Norway gets the first goal and wins the Olympic gold medal J. At the Technological Institute, BjÝrn, the man who has made the towbars for us and had helped adjust them, has a big smile when I arrive. They have seen the match on TV.
After putting the towbars in the garage, now filled up with sledges, fuel bottles, skis and other kinds of gear, I drive up to the cabin and pull the tires for a couple of hours. Itís a grey day with fog and dusk.
Back home I turn my computer on. Base Camp in Minneapolis has started their workday and we exchange some e-mails and phone calls. Ann and I have a chat about gear.
September 27, 2000
This morning Einar asks me to see the doctor. I have been coughing all night, he tells me. My feeling that is that I have been sleeping. Anyway, I feel the problem when Iím out pulling so I call Nina and since my day is booked, I get an appointment tomorrow morning. Nina is a friend. She has crossed the Greenland Ice Cap with her husband. She put together my medical kit for my solo trip to the South Pole and will do the same for Ann and me on this expedition.
I have a school visit today: Risenga Junior High in my neighboring county. Before expeditions my dentist sponsors me with free check-ups and replaces old fillings. I belong to the generation before fluoride and have some that need to be changed. He and his family are eager supporters and in return Iím going to visit his daughterís class. She and her classmates have been visiting our Web site and have sent us greetings, which I have to admit I have not yet seen. Today I only do a workout in Einarís studio to strengthen my back. At night I open our Web site and read all the greetings we have gotten from all over the world. These greetings give both Ann and me a lot of joy and energy.
September 26, 2000
I drive in to Oslo in the morning for a meeting with the newspaper Dagbladet that is going to be the main newspaper that follows the expedition in Norway. Jon Gangdal is going to be my press contact here. Jon was the expedition leader at the Mount Everest expedition in 1996. After the meeting I go shopping. Sports underwear, socks, tooth picks, pantyliners, baby oil, tissues. Ann and I will not have a shower in 100 days and a tissue a day is going to be ďour daily bath.Ē Very few things tire me as much as shopping. Itís a beautiful day and I head for the forest and my tires again. Feels good to do some real hard work. Back home to turn on the computer and get connected with my team in Minneapolis. I know Ann and some of the other Base Camp staff have a meeting with Pfizer in New York. Pfizer Norway wants to sponsor the expedition and hopes the main office in New York will join.
September 25, 2000
In the morning I have a meeting with the students at MÝlladammen, a junior high school, who are going to have the responsibility for the Norwegian Educational Pages which links to our expedition. They are going to interview me, and they also explain how they have made the pages. Iím impressed. Itís an unusual school day, I can tell when I arrive; the Norwegian flag is up, and when I come in to the principalís office itís filled with balloons and a lot of cakes and presents. Itís the popular principal Terje Holmís 60th birthday and colleagues from other schools have been visiting with gifts as has MÝlladammenís own staff. I bring my South Pole book as a gift.
Back home I spend some time at the phone to discuss our radio and different frequencies. I have to go to TromsÝ in northern Norway to pick it up and also want to combine the trip with a visit to the Norwegian Polar Institute to get hold of as many satellite photos covering our route as possible. In the afternoon I pick up my new insoles at my orthopedist. My extremely high arches need support on such a long trek. With new insoles. I drive up to the cabin and hook the tires to the harness and take a two-hour lap. I still feel short-breathed after my cold and my coughing does not sound good.
September 24, 2000
Crisp Sunday morning at the cabin; ó when we get up itís only 0į Celsius (Fahrenheit 32). Morning fog over our tiny lake, but the sun has started it's struggle to come through. Einar is the "chef" of our weekend breakfasts. Eggs and bacon is a kind of tradition and I stay in bed until I can hear and smell the bacon in the pan. While we have breakfast the sun makes the fog slowly disappears from the lake. The fall is here and the grass and leaves around the lake glimmers like gold and bronze in the sun.
We decide to take it slowly this morning. Let the sun warm up the day and then we can also listen to the radio. Our Norwegian female soccer team is meeting Germany in the semifinal in the Olympic Games in Sydney. Our team has great luck; one unlucky German player puts the ball in their own goal, Norway wins the match 1-0 and we are going to meet the USís female soccer team in the Olympic final that has beaten Brasil with the same numbers.
We head off for Einarís favorite training lap in the forest north of our cabin, first through an undulating "moose" ó terrain with a lot of small marshes and hills. We donít see the moose, but can here it when it crashes through the bush. We make a lot of noise because we run and walk with skipoles.
We walk and run for almost three hours, and when weíre back at the cabin my legs really feel heavy. After a sauna, we sit out in the sun Einar reading and I with my Apple PowerBook writing this journal. Soon we are heading home to make dinner, and tonight Iím the "chef".
September 22, 2000
6 o'clock I wake up a bit confused because a dim light suddenly appears in the room. What's up? I look around and suddenly realize that I'm not at home, but at the RadissonSAS Atlantic Hotel in Stavanger. The "oil city" at Norway's South West coast. I'm here to have a lecture for Performance 2000: A convention for the international sales force in the RadissonSAS group outside USA. I use slides and video in my lectures and when we came from an arrangement last night at midnight; I stopped by the conference hall and noticed that nothing was set up for my lecture... I get in contact with the tech guy and we agree to meet and fix it 7 a.m. today.
The theme of the lecture is self management and teamwork and after the lecture I get a warm applause. Preparing for this event I spent a lot of time thinking. How to reach people from 34 different countries and different cultures? I choose a quite personal and down-to-earth approach to the lectureís theme, and from the feedback I get after the lecture it worked quite well.
I'll take the afternoon plane back to Oslo. Einar picks me up at the express train from the airport. Tonight he is going to a class reunion; 40 years(!) since he finished primary school. I'm going up to our cabin in the forest only a 20 minutes drive from our home. From here I start most of my training trips. My plan is to pull out the tires and have a quick walk before the dark, but when I reached the cabin, get the fire going in the oven I feel more for sitting down. My cold still bothers me. I decide to listen to my body and line up newspapers and a book, a glass of red wine and have wonderful quiet night by the fireplace.
September 14, 2000
Iím a bit exhausted this morning. It could be the cooking last night. The whole family is gathered for a farewell-dinner for Linn, one of our daughters who is heading for Birmingham, England, to study for two years. She will come back for the holidays, but Iíll be off somewhere far South celebrating a real White ChristmasÖ I also caught a cold after my bike training trip in the chilled air (and not properly dressed) on Monday.
I feel more like staying in bed than heading into downtown Oslo, but I have promised to speak about our expedition at an Apple Computer press lunch and later have an appointment with Jon Gangdal, who is going to be my press contact in Norway. He was expedition leader at the Mount Everest Expedition I joined in 1996. Only Jon and I did not reach the summit. Jon broke a rib coughing at 8,000 meters on Everest. He had a dream the same night that his son was calling for him and the next day he went down the mountain. He is a well-known journalist in Norway who now works with corporations on media relations.
We have a meeting at his old workplace, the newspaper Dagbladet (www.dagbladet.no). Their net and paper version will be the expedition newspaper in Norway. We are happy that Dagbladet joined us. Teachers read Dagbladet. It is also known as Norwayís "cultural" newspaper. We wanted it because it will get our message out. Iím going back to Antarctica with a mission: the educational program. On my first expedition to Antarctica I brought poetry and I intend to do it this time too. At the meeting we discussed having "the weekís poem from Antarctica." Weíll have to get a permission from the poetís publisher. Iím sure this will work out.
Einar is working late and when he finished I made a pasta dish with lots of garlic and hope it will kill the cold during my sleep.
September 11, 2000
To the dentist in the morning. He would like to sponsor me with a free last checkup. He is a nice man and tells me that for a person of my age and of the pre-fluoride generation my teeth are very healthy, almost like a 30-year-old personís. (I hope the rest of the body is in the same state.)
From the dentist I drive north to Oslo Airport with my new Volvo CrossCountry to pick up the towbars to the sled that Ann has sent from Minneapolis. We want to do some adjustments and Iím in touch with a multitalented man here that can materialize my ideas.
After lunch I drive up to our cabin and take out my bike. Itís a beautiful afternoon, the sun is low and makes all the colors warmer. The leaves and grass are changing to autumn colors. I have a three-hour ride on log roads in the undulating forest with ridges, lakes and marshes. Itís quite like northern Minnesota, Ann told me when we were skiing here last winter. The air is crisp and on the last slope downhill Iím really cold and bike as hard as I can to get up the last hill to the cabin. I get back just before dusk. Close to the cabin and far into my own thoughts I almost leap off my bike when I nearly bump into a young moose. (I donít know much about a mooseís mental life. He could be much more into his own thoughts than me, because he definitely jumped much higher than me).
Back home I open my computer; the workday has started in Minneapolis and at Base Camp and we exchange e-mails before bedtime.
September 8, 2000
Itís Friday and I work until noon and drive up to the cabin and hook my tire to my harness. I put on additional weight and take off. About two hours later Iím back at the cabin. Einar has arrived on his bike after a one-hour trip from our house. We have dinner and spend the evening in front of the fireplace reading. I also spend some time at my Apple PowerBook sending and receiving e-mails from Base Camp in Minneapolis.
On earlier expeditions I have been the leader or lived closer to my team members. Before I teamed up with Ann I knew it would be difficult being so far away from Base Camp and that I had to leave some of the control of important equipment in other hands. And so it has; and I air some of my frustrations.
September 4, 2000
A beautiful Monday after a nice and quiet weekend pulling tires, biking and working with firewood at the cabin. I work until lunch and then head out on the fjord with my kayak. Itís quiet when I start, but after half an hour the wind picks up and I get some fresh squirts over me. I decide to paddle over against the wind and then turn and surf home, but the wind turns and I have headwind back home too. Good workout.
Tonight is the opening of the Ibsen Stage Festival in Oslo. Einar and I are going to attend A Dollís House played by an English group called Shared Experience, which describes itself as having "a pioneering performance style that celebrates the union of physical and text-based theatre." During my literature studies one of my major themes was Henrik Ibsen, and since then I try to attend his plays. I find it interesting to see different interpretations.
August 25, 2000
Head out early with my off-road bike. The air is crisp and for the first time this fall I put on long trousers when Iím out training. Back home I have an hour in my office before I have a ďdrive-interviewĒ with a journalist who writes for Woman magazine. His theme is women and cars. We have a nice drive in my Volvo X-Country up to the little lake next to our cabin to take some pictures and then I head home and off for a meeting with Pfizer Norway.
Birgitte is at home. She is back from some months travelling in Asia and has now started at the University. We have dinner, read the newspapers and chat. Tonight there is a huge welcome party for new students and she will be going.
I feel tired and happy that Iím not going anywhere. Iím looking forward to a quiet night in a good chair, with a good book and a glass of wine.
August 24, 2000
I get up at 7, have breakfast with coffee and time to read the newspapers. I have a lecture for Norwegian Volvo dealers at Oslo Airport Hotel and I outline the lecture in my head while Iím ironing my clothes.
Back home in the evening. Einar finish his work at 4:30 and has everything ready to take off to our cabin in the mountains a 3-hour drive from our house. Ann and I have been there twice for training. I love the place, but I have a meeting with a journalist tomorrow at noon and a meeting with a potential sponsor after that. Saturday I have a lecture in Bergen, a city in western Norway.
In short: Iím booked and he is free, and he is looking forward to going up there on his own. Heíll be bringing his book, his skies, food, wine, and heís happy. When he leaves he says with a smile (he can tell Iím envious): ďYou know I have to practice to be alone.Ē I give him a kiss and wish him a nice weekend and pull out my running gear to run an-hour-and-a-half lap in the forest a 10-minute drive from our house.
At night ó Minneapolis day (Minneapolis is 7 hours after Oslo in time) ó I have a chat on the phone with Ann about equipment.
August 23, 2000
Up at 7 and worked a bit before a meeting with Canon Norway. We want to send as much video and pictures home via our Apple PowerBook that we will bring along. A good meeting, which I report back to the Base Camp team in Minneapolis.
I have also finally done something to improve my English and hired Martha to teach me. We have our second lesson today.
Martha is American and married to a Norwegian. Today she brings two books with dedications to her husbandís grandfather, who was a friend of Fridtjof Nansen. Nansen is a Norwegian national hero, scientist, humanist and the founder of modern exploration. He was the first man to ski across the Greenland Icecap in 1888, he tried to drift over the North Pole with the polar ship Fram, and he got the Nobel Peace Price in 1922 after doing a great job to repatriate 450 000 war prisoners after the First World War. He was my first hero.
When I was around 10 or 12, my father, who is a builder, did some maintenance work at PolhÝgda (Hill of the Pole), Fridtjof Nansenís home. My father, my brother (two years younger than me), and I were shown around. I still remember the visit as if it were yesterday. I was allowed to sit by his desk, use his pencils. I remember the picture of his wife, Eva, a singer, dressed for the concert platform. I remember my thoughts that this must have been a happy house: a lot of music, books and outdoor life. Later I learned that it was not.
Fridtjof Nansen was multitalented and complicated man. You can read more about him in Roland Huntfordís book: Nansen: The Explorer as Hero.
August 22, 2000
Crisp morning. Work an hour after breakfast and take off on my bike and head off on a lap I take quite often. Up a valley a bit east of my house, into the forest, where I climb up a hill, pass our little cabin by the lake and back home through another valley. This route is quite undulating and itís good training for the tights when I sit and trample on my bike.
Sometimes when I go biking early in the workdays I see or hear moose. None today, but a quite huge snake on the log road. The sun warms up the gravel, but the snake is still a bit slow because itís been a chilly night. The snake is called ďHuggormĒ in Norwegian or viper; I think the English word is. Itís the only poisonous snake we have in Norway, but it has a beautiful zigzag pattern on its back. I donít like snakes. Iím seldom as springy as when I bump into a snake when out running in the woods. Afterwards every root looks like a snake.
On my Mt. Everest expedition in 1996 we went to Tibet via Beijing and were hosted by the Chinese Climbing Association. There I learned that I was born in a Snakeís year, 1953.
I did not say much, but they obviously knew that it was not my favorite reptile (well Iím not sure if I have any favorite reptiles).
The taste of its meat was OK. I was also told how healthy a zip of a snakeís blood would be for me, having the ascent of Mount Everest ahead of me. I rejected the offer in the most polite way I could. But was this right? I got altitude sickness, a slight cerebral edema and had to give up the summit...
August 21, 2000
Early up and work until 2 in my office. Then I'll drive my car to our local kayak club and pull out my sea kayak. The fjord is calm and on the two-hour trip I only see only two motor boats. Heading back I have the view to Oslo, Norway's capital city, which I live a few minutes west of. I can see a huge cruise ship is on its way out. I think it's Millennium; a huge cruise ship.
I now and then visit our Web site to see what the team has made for changes. They had made a kind of petit of what we like and so on, and under the line "What I'm working on" Ann is saying "Doing less procastinating" my answer to the line is "Being more patient" and while paddling away I'm thinking about this. How serious a procrastinator is Ann? Me being impatient and Ann having the habit to put things off to be done later can really be a base for some heavy conflicts. I haven't really learned it before, but lately I have asked her about doing some measurements on the tow bar to improve our harness. First time I asked was in July and I sent a fax yesterday and this morning. Is she really an addicted procrastinator?? While paddling, my thoughts run: What if I fell into a crevasse? What would she do? First take a soup (she loves soups), then think about pulling me up (I'm heavy), after drinking the soup in the strong wind she might be cold and put up the tent (when I'm in the freezer of a crevasse) and so on. Ö I better check this out. When I came into my office after my kayak trip, there is a fax from Ann and drawings of the tow bar Ö and I'm relieved; she might be pulling me out of the crevasse right away.
August 20, 2000
We wake up at Toten Hotel and the rain pours down. Have breakfast with the family and head home and up to our cabin in the forest. I fix a tire to my harness and take off. We have put some concrete in it to make it heavy. So far I've pulled it an hour every other day since August 1. Today I plan a 45-minutes-longer lap that I will use the rest of the fall. I will put more tires after the weeks pass and I get stronger. From earlier expedition work, I know we will make the long days pulling and to get ready for that, it's more important to build up the strength with more and more weight rather than increase the walking distance with the tires. It's more fun training my endurance with running, biking and kayaking.
Pulling tires are really boring, by the way, and much more boring than training for previous expeditions. Talked to Ann the other day and she felt the same, but today I have brought my Walkman and when the rain pours down, I walk and pull on and listen to the radio. In Norway we have been occupied about the destiny of the crew in the Russian submarine on the bottom of the Barents Sea not far from Norway's northern cities. From the news I learn that Norwegian deep-sea divers are down at the wreck and that they have learned from knocking at the wreck that it's still air inside. Could anybody against all odds be alive in the submarine?
I walk on with my tire in the long wet grass. Today it's really hard work, the friction is strong. The news about the poor guys trapped in the submarine also reminds me of the time I experienced an attack of angst. Many years ago I came quite uninjured out of a snow avalanche that buried me. Two days later I was in an elevator filled with people, and suddenly panicked of not getting air and that all the people in the elevator pressed all the air out of me. I was in a cold sweat and could feel it run from my temples. Well out of the elevator, I let the people disappear. I knew instantly that the attack was a reaction to being buried in snow few days earlier. I also knew and have heard about people who had become prisoners of their own angst. My fear at the moment was that I would experience the same angst I had in the elevator when I went back to mountains for skiing. This was not going to happen to me. I took a deep breath and went back into the elevator. I believe that when you know the reason for your angst, you can fight it yourself or with help from family and friends.
I never get the feeling of the angst in the mountains, but now and then I feel a flash of it in elevators. Then I take a big, deep breath, smile and say inwards: "Sorry, Mr. Angst, no room for you here."
Well, this is an example on where and what my training trip can bring, my thoughts with a radio on my ear ...
August 19, 2000
A sunny, warm and beautiful day. I feel a bit sick not being able to train today. This will be the first day without training since Ann and I were in New York and Chicago in July. Off early to Lena, Toten, Norway, to have a family gathering for the descendants of Einar's grandparents. In short, a very social day.
August 18, 2000
The Norwegian summer has been quite wet and cold, but the last days were sunny and warm. Einar and I have decided to take half of this Friday off and take a kayak trip on the Oslo Fjord. After only 15 minutes in the kayak the wind speeds up and we have to take the cover to the cockpit on. We have strong headwind, but the sun is shining, the water is warm and so is the wind. It's hard work, but fun when the waves gives us a shower! After one and a half hours, we land on "our" tiny island in the fjord.
We have lunch and then head home again, surfing with tailwinds and waves. At home we take a quick shower and drive up to the cabin we have in the forest only 20 minutes from our home. In the afternoon we feel an air that tells us the fall is on its way. We have dinner by the fire outside; we can see and hear the fishes jumping in the lake for their dinner. Einar says: "It's August 18 today; in two months we are heading for Cape Town, South Africa. How do you feel?"
Two months only!! Ann and I teamed up in October two years ago and it felt so good to have all this time to plan and train. I am definitely looking forward to get the skis on at Queen Maud Land; but still we don't have the skis! They will be special made for us at Madshus next week; I'm also looking forward to get the sails up, but the sails are not ready! I visited Eva, our sail maker, last week to pick out the right blue Volvo color for our sails. I could go on with equipment and things we still are working on, but from earlier expeditions I know it's the way most are planned. First the economical base has to be established and our Base Camp Team in Minneapolis has been doing a great job regarding this. Now it is up to Ann and me to close in all the questions regarding equipment, food, navigation and communication and to see it becomes as light as possible.
And to answer Einar's question: "Good. Real good."
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