Day 19: Stranded on Union Glacier, team prepares for a major storm

Dr. Heather Ross

We are battening down the hatches for a significant storm, with winds expected to reach 40 to 50 knots (75-95 kilometres per hour). We've spent the day preparing and ensuring that tents are secure and nothing is loose.

It was hard to imagine this morning that a storm would be moving in, as it was a spectacular sunny day with not a cloud in the sky. The staff have been amazing, keeping us informed of all the updates. At present, there is no further news on the Ilyushin plane.

The afternoon was spent playing Union Glacier Olympics. They divided the expedition crew and some of the staff to make eight teams. The events were largely puzzle-oriented with a twist and a sense of humour, like wag bag tossing. All in all, it was a real riot. We also had six-legged ski races. There were six events in all, capped off by a sled race, where two of the tram members were in the sled and two were either pulling or pushing the sled through the course.

Truthfully, it was a brilliant way to spend three hours, filled with much laughter and a release of tension. There was also a four-on-four pick up soccer game (Diego scored). Finally, there was a podium presentation for the winners. My team came last.

[ More: See photos of the South Pole journey ]

We will wait out the storm and should have news about 1 p.m. tomorrow regarding the repairs on the Ilyushin. If it is cleared to fly, then the next issue will be about finding a flying weather window.

Thanks for sticking with us. We’ll try to continue to keep you updated.

Dr. Heather Ross is travelling to the South Pole to raise awareness for heart disease.

Follow her Journey to the Bottom of the Earth exclusively on Yahoo! Canada.