FIRSTLY……The sun is appearing above the horizon again!!!!
I have already tried walking in the forest with snowshoes, but I am still sinking in the snow up to my knees and in places up to my waist.
Because I cracked my ribs soon after I moved here last year I was not able to learn to ski properly, but now I’m starting to get out and practise on skis with some tuition from Emma.
We have been practising on the hard, compacted snow of snow scooter trails, but the other day I decided to head off into the forest on virgin snow to test out the skis. Unfortunately my skis also sink down into the snow
and although not as deep as the snowshoes, it does mean that you have to lift up the skis out of the snow with every step.
I found a small timber building while out
On closer investigation I found that it has not windows and that the door and roof had been removed.
And next to the building I found this interesting feature
It has a thick concrete wall at the back and a metal framework in front with several pulley systems
After making some inquiries when I returned home, I found out that this was an old military shooting range and presumably the pulleys were used to raise and lower targets.
I continued on my way and later decided to stop for coffee. I found a nice sheltered spot surrounded by trees to make a camp
I used my ski pole to excavate the snow
I gathered some materials and prepared to make fire
I have not had problems making fire for a long time but this time I had many problems. The matches I carry with me would not ignite. I carry my matches in a small sealed container.
and as you can see I have the heads of the matches at the top. Possibly one reason I had problems to ignite them was that my fingers were sweating and so making the match heads wet when I removed them from the container. So now I carry them with the heads down
It’s such a simple thing but something I had not considered before. Another useful piece of simple advice I shall share is not to hold the end of a match between your teeth in extreme cold, while preparing your fire because as I found, your breath freezes over the working end of the match and so it will not ignite!!
There was no Birch in the area, so I could not use bark to get my fire going, but I had cotton wool with me but although the cotton wool would ignite, it went out immediately. I carved small shavings of dead Pine and used to ignite the fire but once they had burn up, the fire went out. I spent about an hour trying to make fire but never succeeded. I think my audience found it entertaining though…
This experience shows that you should not become complacent and instead practise, practise, practise!!!!