Ice Ultra 2014 Race Report - Stage One

Warm? Tell that to these guys! Happily all over the finish line, but not without some struggles today...

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Stage 1 – king’s path
Warm?  Tell that to these guys!  Happily all over the finish line, but not without some struggles today.  The air temp was only -4°C but driving snow and wind made it feel more like -15°C out there, especially on the open lakes.  Couple that with waist deep snow, the odd surface melt sending freezing slush over your shoes and you start to get the picture.  Many of the athletes wondered if the snow shoes were for show or for real – around 500m metres in they found out, soft snow, undulating terrain and fresh snowfall to boot, brilliant.
Everyone’s hell today was the 10km dry lake bed.  Mainly because it was anything but dry!  Most of the athletes and even some of us organisers managed to break through an extremely soft area of snow where the water was creeping back through.
We’re high up in the Arctic now, staying in awesome cabins without electricity, log burners to keep us all warm and not a few stories to be told – we can actually say that everyone here has found this stage 1 so tough, but all found the nature and sheer size of the challenge something truly special and this is only stage 1 remember!
Tomorrow’s stage – The Snow, is going to be diverted around Snow Mountain rather than over it due to the severe white-out conditions we’re facing even and sea level, let alone 3800ft!

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Will Roberts

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