Mt. Vinson – Day 12
Inspired by our previous day’s ridge traverse, we decided to spend our last day at VBC doing a fun group activity: sledding. We dragged the sleds (thankfully with no gear inside) up to the top of the steep slope that is often skied because of its proximity to camp. It took a while (and was surprisingly arduous) but we finally made it up and jumped in for our first of three sledding races.
I’m a little embarrassed to say that my sledding techniques were not quite up to snuff, at least not compared to my teammates. I wiped out several times and had a very hard time controlling my sled with my hands. The basic idea is that you lean back in the sled and spread your arms out, dipping them in the snow to turn left or right. For whatever reason, whenever I tried to steer one direction I would overcompensate and swing wildly to that side, and then just repeat this process on the other side when trying to correct my error.
I did improve a little on the second and third attempts, but a massive wipeout during the final race dashed any hopes I might have had of winning the contest. Alas, I will just have to wait until next time I’m in Antarctica to get my revenge.
Despite my losses, it was an incredibly fun activity and we all walked back to camp with our adrenaline pumping, our hands freezing, and our bellies sore from so much laughing.
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