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The Wind blows on the new Base Camp

Friday November 20th - Here we are! Six more people have joined the team. The lunch was particularly animated with anecdotes and memories of past expeditions at Utsteinen. With Serge, the doctor, we had already started speaking between us in our own sort of Franco-Belgian dialect ("passe-moi la pelle et la balayette" becomes "passe-moi la brosse et la ramassette", depending on which side of the frontier you're on), and with Jacque's arrival, it will include some Québecois, too. "Tabernacle!" We're still laughing...

The base camp is almost finished and we've now settled into our tents. We'll only be going to the station for our meals for a few more days. Every time I look out the window, I can see the containers have moved! Actually, before entering the bathroom, I had to make sure they weren't going anywhere!

Despite the wind, which has been picking up since yesterday, the weather remains beautiful; however we're expecting a storm during the weekend. Tonight, Alain briefed us to remind us of the station's working rules and the security procedure in the event of a storm. Having experienced disorientation in the mountains, I can imagine that you can easily get lost between the mess-tent and the station. I'm trying to prepare enough food to make my fellow expedition members willing to come find me if I get lost!

We should be resupplied by plane tomorrow, and I hope that the eggs will arrive in as nice a condition as they arrived last time. No eggs means no cakes! At least we still have plenty of fresh supplies for the moment, including fruits and vegetables. It's really nice to prepare salads when you think of the frozen and barren terrain all around us.

Christine Mattel

Author: IPF

Picture: International Polar Foundation - © International Polar Foundation

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