We were at Antarctica, but we were not on 89th parallel, which was still 1100km far away. We had to get there by a small propeller plane. And it was again connected with the stress, whether it can take off and especially whether there will be good conditions for the plane to land on Antarctic plateau. There was a nice weather in the camp, almost no wind and everything seemed OK. It is however totally different story up there. In the 3000 meters high landscape wiped by the katabatic winds are changing conditions quickly and the small plane needs some assurance, that it can land there and take off again. We had to hope for good news.
Back in the camp, we had some time to get familiar with the equipment. It was not much of it, just the skies, tent and cooker. It was easy. Then we split the food for 10 days among the group. Then we planned to go little bit around the camp with full sledges whether everything is OK. We couldn’t make it, because as soon as we packed, we were told, that meteorology gave a green light for our flight and we can take off. So, we threw our stuff to the plane (literally), sat down, waved to the Union Glacier and hooray to Antarctic plateau!
The plane from Union Glacier first maneuvered between Ellsworth mountains and after a while we couldn’t see anything but infinite white plains. That was an Antarctic plateau. Those plains should be our home for the rest of the trip. The aircraft made one stopover on 85th parallel, where was staged about 100 barrels of gas in the middle of nowhere. We made a short break there, have some snack and breath a bit the high-altitude air. There is lower centrifugal force around the poles, so the gravitation affect human more. In the place of our expedition, the altitude was about 3000 meters, but physiological effect is closer to conditions of 3500 meters. It is an altitude, which requires bit acclimatization and can bring an altitude sickness.