We waited another hour finalising our loads, and then took to the road. I drove, while Alain took the skidoo, so that he could continuously verify the condition of the load. The wind had let up around mid afternoon, but soon began to pick up again. The sastrugis were ferocious and we had to continuously stop to re-strap the fuel drums, because the smaller wooden sledges we were using were not equipped with shock absorbers.
As we approached the depot site five hours later, the sun was sliding behind the mountains and the cold was suddenly more intense. Bratnippane, was a drear sight, full of dark foreboding shadows. We had to cautiously make our way down into a blue ice dish, where the sledges had a field day, sliding all over the place under their own weight as we progressed downhill.
One of the fuel drums sprung a leak and we patched it up as best we could and turned it over, all 200 kgs of it, using the small crane, so that it would stop. Once in place, at the GPS point indicated, we discovered that there was next to no snow. This was not very encouraging. I was all for moving on as I had no wish to sleep on the blue ice which in addition to being very cold and hard, is also very knobbly. Finally, Alain discovered a tent size patch of snow, and began to set up the tent with Benjamin, while I made dinner in the Prinoth survival cabin. I was eager to try out the luxuries of this small box, and after dinner declared I would sleep there, though without the heating as a concession for my decadent weakness. Needless to say, the wind did not keep me awake.