Thursday, 5 May 2016

Lucky Timing

A funny thing happened the other day. While we were sitting in this storm, alarmingly, the stove which runs off aircraft fuel, started billowing clouds of black smoke out of the vent in the chimney and into the Weatherhaven tent. We turned it off and let it cool down.

Sheets of flame exploded out of the bottom
In the strong winds the chimney rocks about and sets the whole stove dancing about on it's stand. We cleaned all the tubes and then tried to re-light it. Then things got really exciting. As it warmed up it started to have explosions in it's body and sent sheets of fire out of the bottom. We grabbed the fire extinguishers and stood next to the escape door. The explosions got bigger, so someone brave turned it off and eventually it calmed down. We had had enough for one night and went to our sleeping container only to find it drifted up again, so it took an hour of digging before we could get to bed. More boxes placed in the gap as high as we could reach, we hoped, would reduce the drifing that blocked the door every night.

Climbing out of sleeping container over the boxes placed to try and stop the door getting blocked
Next morning we tried to light the stove again and fiddled with the chimney vent to give it more air. After several attempts, we got it going with no explosions. Ice had built up in the chimney and the resulting waterfall, promptly put it out again!

It's going again now and it's just as well as, with no heat, we would have no water and living would get very difficult.

Wednesday was flight day and the Paul's team was still stuck at the Red House and the snowboarders were having a grim time in Kalkdal, with tents collapsing under the weight of snow. With the forecast, there was little chance the flight would come or anyone would be able to move.

Flight day morning - slightly better weather
Weatherhaven doorway blocked with boxes to prevent snowdrift
Tunnel down to the Weatherhaven tent door
The skidoos and sledges took allot of digging out
My Skidoo won't start!

Luck was on our side and the winds eased for the day. Paul got up at 6.00am and was back at CNP for 8.00am. After a few hours of digging to get the other skidoos and sledges out of the snow, a turn around saw all 5 of us at the Kalkdal camp, meeting a team of  snowboarders very happy to see us. The journey there was hard in the flat light and not without incident. I was in the lead trying not to drive over the cornice that Mike had found the week before and on arrival at camp, one skidoo narrowly missed a tent hole and rolled over on a mound of snow right in front of the group!

All hands to right the capsized 'doo
We got everyone back to CNP and even the flights came, so everyone got away. The weather has now come back with avengence with 60kph winds, but better conditions should return in a day or so. It's been the longest period of bad weather I have experieiced and it was lucky timing that the weather window landed on the flight day!

No comments:

Post a Comment