South Pole Expedition travel blog

Progress map – 5-12-2014

Dressed for the whiteout - Ian


Gourmet cusine - Andy

Contemplating the hand sanitizer - Bradley

Desperate circumstances call for desperate measures..........

Miles skied – 131  Miles remaining to South Pole – 389

Elevation Gained from coast – 3,750 feet  Elevation at South Pole – 9,500 feet

After skiing for 11 days, we are camped in a place that looks exactly like the one we camped on the first night and for that matter every night in between. We are ascending around 300 feet per day – it is relentless and it will eventually bring us to the polar plateau at 9,000 feet. This is hard, make no mistake about it.

We have developed a familiar routine and the days seem to blend one into another. A big milestone today.......after 11 days of nothing, we spotted the Poxutrent Ridge on the eastern skyline – quite the event! We are working well as a team – especially necessary when one sled falls into a void and has to be hauled out before continuing. We are displaying all emotions, but are especially having lots of laughs. If anyone is voted guilty of whinging by the rest of the team he has to do 11 press-ups on the spot, no matter where we are. Press-ups are pretty tough with skis on, but there are no excuses. You would have to be Scottish to understand why 11 and not 10 press-us. It has to do with an elevator skit.........

Observations of the week were:

-  Desperation is kicking in. Bradley is testing his theory as to whether you can get intoxicated on hand sanitizer. Results next week.

-  When Andy peeled off several inches of skin off his foot, before discarding it, Bradey considered how many calories may be in it.........scary but true.

-  Worst freeze dried meal – no contest – Himalayan Lentil. Even with an overdose of very spicy sauce it still tastes like waterlogged cardboard.

-  If you fall onto a carbon fibre ski pole, it does not bend, it just breaks.

-  One of the biggest challenges so far has been to avoid overheating while sledding – strange but true.

-  When the sun is out, it can be +18°C in the tent. When it is cloudy, it can be very cold........

-  And now more on that home participation I touched on last week. This week's lesson – Sledding in a whiteout. Go back to that frozen ploughed field, and of course don't forget the 2 sleds. Put your skis on and then a white blindfold. Ski for 9 hours. Oh yes, and if you want to make it super realistic, go out and rent a Boeing 747 engine, set it up at the top of the field and crank it up to 50% max power.

Next stop............Still the first food and fuel depot – 180nm from the start. Hopefully on a rest day there by next week’s blog.

Don't forget to check out the Polar Explorers blog, including voice updates at: Polar blog

Until next week,


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