Last night we got to our hotel around half past one at night. Wise men would have immediately gone to bed, but since this was the first time we got our devices online, we spent the next hours browsing and answering messages. After refreshing three hours of sleep we crawled to breakfast. Luckily it was much, much better than at our previous hotel. Really refreshing to get proper coffee, fruits, and yogurt (pictured below). Beats our expedition oatmeal with 50 grams of butter.
A couple of days have passed since we stopped skiing, so now is a good time to reflect on what went well and where we could have improved. This list is very high level; naturally, we have more detailed info in our heads, like "how many fuel pumps are needed".
As a refresher: our guiding principles were 1) enough good food, and 2) enough good sleep. This was to ensure our not-so-fresh bodies can take the beating to the end.
- + We had enough food and we never felt like we would be starving
- + Dinners had enough variation; even though some of the variants were sub-par, it was only so many times they appeared on the menu
- + Eating a 1000 kcal lunch from a food thermos was one of the best decisions we made
- - We grossly overestimated how much we can eat in the beginning; we had 10-15 kg of extra food which we man hauled through the bad terrain. We could have started with significantly lighter sleds without sacrificing our max amount of ski days.
- - Some of the food variants we had picked were almost unedible due to high chili content. It was depressing being forced to eat food that seriously hurt while eating.
- + Our steady speed tactics worked until the end; we knew how much we an use effort daily to be able to go all the way. We used that effort wisely.
- + Nine skiing hours (plus breaks) was enough to the end
- - The terrain on the first degrees was worst than we had prepared for. This is affected by the extra weight mentioned above in the food section.
- - Days became truly predictable only after the halfway point.
- + The basics - like skis, sleds, poles, and tent - worked and lasted well
- + Insulated vest and skirt saved us from much harm
- + Repair kit was sufficient even though it got a lot of use
- + Kokewilly is still the best snow-melting pot
- + A shovel of anything weaker than steel would have been a risk; even steel got some beating
- - We had severe problems with NNNBC-binding and NNNBC ski boot base
- - Hilleberg Keron 4 GT would have been a better choice than our 3 GT; extra space would have been worth the additional weight
- - Deadman-like tent stakes were awesome, but in general, all the stakes should have been even longer since the snow was softer than we anticipated
- + We had enough time reserved for sleeping until the end
- + Sleeping pads etc. were comfortable, and cold was not an issue
- - We had problems falling sleep due to the burning sun; hard to think how we could have prepared better for this, though
- + We had enough medicine with us; we did not miss anything during the trip
- + Steroid cream and etorikoxib proved to be important; without them the expedition would have been at risk
- - Bandages for Polar thigh symptoms run a bit short; could have had more of them
- + Everything worked to the end
- + Not even once we were worried about not getting enough power; the power bank voltage never reduced below 50 %
- - Charging system should have been designed to work solely through outer tent; now we charged through the outer tent but our solar panels and long cables were designed to come from outside and thus were unnecessarily rugged and heavy