We've had an exciting night/morning. Pitching our tents last night we picked our spot carefully knowing that a storm was on its way....the weather maps were full of angry looking red and purple blotches (not good). A storm - even a small one - sounds pretty dramatic from inside a tent. The wind makes a racket in the material and snow builds up in mounds on the sides. We are using Hilleberg Keron GT tents because they are built for exactly this kind of weather but every tent depends on being pitched right in order to survive a storm.....this blizzard would be a good test of our pitching skills!
The storm soon exploited our weaknesses.....and lessons were quickly learned! Our team will never again leave a tiny chink open in the zipped outer doors (because snow gets blown through and leaves a big drift all over the 'kitchen' area!), will be super quick to dig away snow building up on the outside of the tent (which can put extra pressure on the tent poles), and will have the tautest guy lines (the ropes that anchor the tent).
Asma and Misba had a miserable night. In the morning we decided to collapse their tent and bury it under snow to keep it safe while they decamped to another tent to wait out the storm. We spent a cosy (if cramped) morning in two tents keeping ourselves warm and fed while listening for a change in the wind.
We stuck it out and the wind finally dropped in the afternoon. We emerged from the tents amazed at the change in the weather and the scenery around us that we hadn't been able to see during the storm. We could finally hear each other speak too!
Retrieving Asma and Misba's tent, we dug our sledges and skis out of the snow and moved on to a new place to camp. The excitement of the storm had been draining but the team were on a high. We had all drawn confidence from the fact that - placed in a challenging situation - the team had stayed calm, kept themselves safe and well and found a way to move forward. We don't know what challenges the ski to the North Pole might throw at us - so it is reassuring to know that we have a team that will hold it together when it gets tricky.