the Journey

  • Distance to go: 0 Mi

    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 Tailwind Teaser (Day 36)

Day 36: S82° 49' 9", E169° 55' 25.2"

Duration: 8 Hr 30 Min

Daily distance: 19.8 Mi

Distance to go: 1423.8 Mi

Temperature: -8 °C

Wind chill: -17 °C

Altitude: 174 Ft

Clearly it pays to be complementary about Antarctica's beautiful scenery as we were rewarded with a bit of a treat this morning: a surprisingly strong tailwind that blew us along for the first hour before fading away. It was great while it lasted, like having a benevolent giant's palm on your back, urging you along. With some predictability, the headwind returned with a vengeance this afternoon, slowing us to a plod. The wind giveth and the wind taketh away.

We swapped our skis this morning for the pair we each have with shorter, narrower skins - the strips of fabric that give us traction on the snow - and our second pairs go in the sleds (at some point we'll cut the fat skins down to make a second skinny pair). The skinnier skins offer better glide and higher speed but not enough grip to pull the heavy weights we had at the start, and with their help we managed to cover very nearly 20 miles today (just short of 32km) which means two contented but tired smelly tramps in this tent this evening.

I'm struggling to keep my eyes open so I'll sign off now. Thank you for all the comments and messages.


# Richard Pierce, November 30th 2013

Nearly 20 miles! That is great going, and I’m not surprised you’re both knackered. Enjoy your well-earned sleep, and here’s to over 20 miles tomorrow! R

# robin carter, November 30th 2013

amazing gents.A great effort.Here’s to many greater days to come.

Continued good luck. Robin

# Rosie Vidovix Unsworth, November 30th 2013

While you sleep, I read your blog and admire your courage in taking on such a challenge. You guys are inspirational.

# Janet Stanley, November 30th 2013

Fab picture & great mileage! Stay safe :)

# Irene, November 30th 2013

On on! Enjoying the arm chair journey at your expense, as always. What you are doing is so important. Be safe out there, little dots.

# Kevin.Wright, November 30th 2013

Great stuff guys we are so pleased that you are catching up on the miles. Nice to read all the complimentary comments today,you deserve it. Guess it won’t be long before the technical guys will be throwing a spanner in the works though! Ha ha
Keep going and enjoy these easier days! Kevin

# Mal Owen, November 30th 2013

Nothing better than a sunny day to boost the spirits and energy. Nearly 20m….no wonder you are knackered !
A wonderful photo. Your sky was bluer yesterday than mine is today in the UK and it is lovely here !

# Dan Shoemaker, November 30th 2013

Fantastic progress so far. Beardmore here we come!

# Intrepid, November 30th 2013

I have been with family for the last week. I may be enduring more than you guys!

I love how technology allows us to tune in to each other from great distance. Your posts are quintessential morsels, reminders how everything belongs to the natural call of the wild. Sweet dreams, all day long.

# Willie, November 30th 2013

Ben and Tarka, fantastic mileage today, I raise my glass of ice cold Guinness to you both. That was cruel, but hey you chose to be there !!!!!!.  The one thing about technology is we can follow your endeavours and then some numpty reminds you of the home comforts that you miss so much and if it isn’t a pint of the black stuff, what would it be?  Crack the 20 tomorrow and I’ll owe you both a pint, Willie

# dj, November 30th 2013

Halleluja… two more camps like this and you’ll be at the foot of the Gateway.  Bring us back a rock! (well in your case a tiny pebble will do).  My guess is that you’ll take the Gateway climb the next day when you’re fresh, but with you guys I’ve learned not to make guesses - you want to get to the Beardmore so bad.

# CaninesCashews, November 30th 2013

Hi guys,
Another fantastic mileage and another record day. Nice to have the wind at your back even if it wasn’t for long.
Must be a nice psychological moment swapping the skis.
Crack on to Beardmore!

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