After all the hard work of the last few days getting the Ice Train ready, both Cats were in operation today heading south and at the time of writing one of the Cats is still on the move.
As a result of the axle problem the team have made changes to the layout of the train for the next phase of the journey to reduce the loads transferred through the various elements of the train. It will now consist of four units, with one Cat pulling each unit in a relay. These units are as follows: Unit 1 = living caboose + three fuel scoots; Unit 2 = science caboose + storage ISO container + 3 fuel scoots; Unit 3 and Unit 4 – four fuel scoots each.
The team will continue to leapfrog towards the blue ice area ahead and they expect to reach the edge of this area in about 7km. They will then need to make an assessment of how to best cross it depending on gradient and traction. Satellite images suggest the blue ice extends for approx 10km but this conflicts with notes provided by the Belgians which suggest it is more extensive.
Distance travelled today: 12km for Unit 1 & 2, anticipate 10km for Unit 3 & 4 (still travelling)
Total distance travelled from Crown Bay: 296 km
Distance to Pole: 1932 km
Distance to Ross Sea: 3532 km