21 Jan_2

Day 16, 21 Jan 2016

Best day yet!!

Despite our best stove efforts we only got the cabin up to 7.1C (back down to 1.5c by morning). Beautiful full moon that greeted us.
Woke to -27C but wonderfully still and clear. Headed back to the skidoo tracks hoping they may go to next hut, but they unfortunately veered off, so we ploughed our own track in powder snow. After an hour we heard and saw a skidoo, which came over. He was a State wildlife officer and we had wonderful chat about reintroducing Arctic fox, the resident reindeer and a lone male Wolverine who had made his way here from further north.
He said he had recently travelled (on his skidoo) along side of the main hydro lake and it was probably safe. We were ecstatic that we had tracks for about 1 km and had received positive news about the condition of the lake. After 15 minutes he reappeared with his friend Peter (who had introduced Norwegian reindeer on S. Georgia).
After another great chat they said they were now heading north, but would do a mini detour to the hut and lay a new track for us in the soft snow… AMAZING!
You can imagine our roller coaster of emotions when we came across a 25 metre patch of fresh slush on the new track after 30 minutes. Given we were on the middle of the lake we had no alternative but to continue. Everything was fine and it was probably just some water oozing up a crack.
The last 600 metres was a sting in the tail with a steep 60 metre ascent to the cabin.
We chose the tiny cabin (assuming it would heat better) and after digging out the snow and ice caked door were soon ensconced in a beautifully warm cabin with a cup of steaming hot chocolate, looking over a sunlit vista of completely snow covered mountains. There is no one within 20 kilometres of us. Absolutely amazing location.
The next hour was spent studying maps and GPS waypoints as tomorrow is more challenging navigation wise.