Distance to go:
Ben and Tarka will cover 1800 miles starting from Scott's Terra Nova Hut at the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back to the coast again. That's equivalent to 69 back-to-back marathons hauling up to 200kg each (the weight of roughly two adult men) of kit and supplies necessary to survive.
Distances here are shown in statute miles.
A Milestone Day (Day 98)
Day 98: S79° 51' 16.31", E168° 37' 46.56"
Duration: 10 Hr
Daily distance: 24.5 Mi
Distance to go: 174 Mi
Temperature: -14 °C
Wind chill: -21 °C
Altitude: 184 Ft
Lots of boxes ticked today; we're inside 79 degrees south, we picked up our depot (the last one that we had very little leeway to hit - we have food, fuel and time in reserve now) and we're very close to - though perhaps not quite past - Scott's last camp. We'll pass that and the position of his One Ton Depot tomorrow, and we expect to see land again in the form of Minna Bluff, and perhaps the distant summits of Erebus and Terror in the next day or so as well.
Alas this is a speedy update as we're late from picking up the depot and putting in a big-mileage day on a surface that wasn't ideal, and I'm the snow-melting chef tonight. It was colder today though Antarctica treated us (finally!) to a spot of sunshine, and to our great surprise we were able to pick up and follow our old tracks again. The sun is noticeably lower in the sky with each passing day now, though of course, we're still skiing during the local night time, and it starts to rise higher again as we pitch our camp in the evening, meaning we're nice and warm in the tent.
Tarka and I talked a lot today about what it must have been like for Scott, Oates, Wilson and Bowers out here a century ago, and more than a month later into the autumn than we are now. The longer we're out here, the more our sense of awe and respect at what those men faced and endured continues to grow.
I'll answer some more questions tomorrow (when Tarka's cooking) but for now I'll sign off by thanking you all again for your interest and support. After grumbling about whiteouts and headaches for days, I'm happy to report that Tarka and I are both starting to get excited about how close we're getting to the finish line.