Polar Explorer Eric Larsen
Day 5: In it
Eric Larsen
16 May 2018 | Greenland
I have a reoccurring dream sometimes when I'm home. The basic jist is that I'm suddenly on day three or four of a two month expedition. In my dream, I am immediately stressed knowing that I have to go through the same process of missing Maria and the kids. Even sleeping, I can feel the physical pain. I usually wake up relieved that I am not facing 40 or 50 days of polar loneliness.

Unfortunately, my reality is much like my dreams. Leaving my family is never easy and while I whole-heartedly enjoy what I do it is difficult to float between two worlds. For now, I am skiing in Greenland but my heart is in Colorado. To be successful here (and realistically survive) I need to pull back from that life.

It sounds terrible but it's not. It's just a fact of being 'in it'. My family sustains me, but being here requires a singular focus. It's a balancing act that I never seem to follow very well. But I'm trying.

Once again the weather surprised us. We had gone to sleep in a whiteout but woke up to clear skies and a stiff wind that had done an abrupt 180 from its direction the previous night. Because our MSR tents are aligned specifically with the wind, we had to build a small snow wall to keep the spindrift deflected from the front vestibule.

We set off skiing toward a specific way point to avoid a crevasse field and after an hour or so of skiing, I started veering toward our next point of interest, the abandoned Dye 2 station nearly 90 miles away. I must have cut the corner a bit too soon because we were suddenly in the middle of a row of small crevasses ranging in width from a foot to three feet. They were covered in snow but fairly easy to spot - that is until I fell up to my knee into a crack that paralleled our path. I decided it might be a good idea to do a bit more veering and we were able to navigate safely around.

For the rest of the day, we skied in clear blue skies. The temperature is relatively warm - around 20 degrees F or so and breaks were somewhat relaxing. We even managed to get in a few short conversations.

The ice cap here is undulating and when the horizon is closer we are skiing up hill. Farther away, down.

There is another gale warning from the Garmin inReach weather for tonight with 40 mph winds. With nowhere else to go but east toward our end point we are definitely in it.
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