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 Very Long Walk (Day 97)

Day 97: S80° 12' 34.67", E168° 34' 30.36"

Duration: 9 Hr 30 Min

Daily distance: 24.2 Mi

Distance to go: 198.5 Mi

Temperature: -12 °C

Wind chill: -17 °C

Altitude: 197 Ft

I don't have an awful lot to tell you today, as we spent all of it battling into a full-blown, emulsion-thick whiteout, so we didn't see a single thing. We lost our old tracks within the first half hour, we both have splitting headaches from peering into the gloom as we navigated, unable to focus on anything, and shoulders and necks knotted into spasm from hunching over our compass bracket (that straps around our chests to leave our hands free for ski poles). We managed to clock 39km, which we're pleased with, and which means we're still on track to hit our depots and make it back to Ross Island on schedule.

One thing we are excited about is that Andy informed us on our evening check-in satellite phone call that we appear to have become the longest man-hauling (i.e. human-powered, sledge-dragging) polar expedition in history, by more than 335km.

Lastly, in today's gloomy weather there was nothing that inspired me to take a photograph. "Take one in the tent," said Andy, "People love that. Even a food bag or something." So that's what you've got: a still-life taken from the position of my head. As you can see, it's Thai chicken curry tonight (we peeled off the food bag labels in Chile to save weight) and as I'm not cooking, I'm in charge of overseeing battery charging from the solar panels. 


# Rosie Vidovix Unsworth, January 30th 2014

Hey Ben and Tarka
Thank you for the trouble of taking pictures, writing your blogs and ensuring you entertain us even when you are so tired.
Got the champagne on the ice waiting for you to reach the finishing line. Don’t worry too much about getting here before champagne goes flat, I will do that for you. After all is the least I could do after all the adventure I had via you!
Take care and keep going!

# Austin Duryea, January 31st 2014

Thank you so much for being able to take pictures a write back to us. It is just amazing that y’all are only about a week away from completing your journey. I wish that there was some way that I could meet you in person. Also great job on the sketch that you did Gav. It was Amazing.

# Sounds like a plan Dave , January 30th 2014

I’m very impressed that you find the energy to keep up with you blog. That’s nothing short of super human. Keep it up guys! Looking foreword to your next post.

# CaninesCashews, January 30th 2014

Hi guys,

Well then, under 200 to go – what amazing milestone.

It really doesn’t seem that long ago that we were celebrating you reaching 200 miles down on your outward journey (although I’m sure it does to you!).  It was way back around day 26 – I remember because I celebrated with an Etch–a-Sketch!!
Unbelievable when you consider you’re probably going to knock these last 200 off in around a third of that time.

I hope that you have the chance of some better visibility on these last few days – just to give you a few more memories of this epic adventure to take home.

What great news from Andy, and you didn’t just break it – you’ve smashed it!!
I can see you might need to update those business cards of yours now.
Hope you enjoyed your umpteenth Thai Chicken curry, I’m sure it tastes a little better with a polar record under your belts!

For those who are interested my original Etch from back then is here:


Stay safe.

# Richard Pierce, January 30th 2014

You should go on Britain’s Got Talent with those Etch-a-Sketch skills, Gav. Absolutely brfilliant. R

# CaninesCashews, January 30th 2014

Thanks Richard - kind of you to say so, but pretty sure they won’t allow me the hour and a half it took to do that one!!


# Mal Owen , January 30th 2014

Seconded…they are super :-)

# Richard Pierce, January 30th 2014

Only 90 mins? That’d be riveting telly. Get yourself a show!!! BTW, I’m not taking the mick.


# CaninesCashews, January 30th 2014

Thanks guys - seriously. Its nice to be able to use one of the more unusual elements of my ‘arty’ skillset for this extarordinary adventure.
It usually only gets rolled out when I need complete switch off time . I like the fact that it is one continuous line - constantly moving forward - lots of concentration needed and completely unforgiving of mistakes. Remind you of anything? Apt I think.


# Tara Carlisle, January 30th 2014

I’m a big fan of your work; both your literary and artistic talent.

# Intrepid, January 30th 2014

That’s what makes it one of the most marvelous inventive toys of all time (and what I personally love about Etch-A-Sketch, which I haven’t played with in eons) - the seemingly simplicity of how one continuous line can create the most amazingly complex pictures.  And your drawing .... WOW!  Have you ever made a movie of you working the nobs and creating a picture? It would be captivating as well as really cool to listen to a story being spoken while watching you work, bit by turning the knob bit, as the image appears in greater and greater detail. OOoohhh….. :)

# CaninesCashews, January 30th 2014

Thanks Tara/Intrepid – I seem to have dissipated into a crimson blush here :-

Interesting idea about the video Intrepid, but I’m afraid the EaS is my switch off time – no gadgets, no power.  Just a photo on my phone at the end… and then a shake and its gone. Maybe one day.

A bit off topic but I love the Etch-a-Sketch – a quintessential toy that can entertain two year olds and adults alike. A quick staircase, a stickman doodle or a work of art – take your pick.

I spend most of my day working with Photoshop etc. I love that EaS doesn’t have any wires – it is exactly the same as it was 50 years ago – no upgrades, just a brilliant design right from the off.
A toy that has become an icon powered only by imagination, how wonderful is that.

When I have done the ones (three I think) about this crazy adventure, it gives me time to ponder the absolute madness of it all. Trying my best to imagine those guys at the time of the drawing, what are they doing, why are they there, what are they thinking about, what is driving them on, how will they feel when all the doing is done?
I’m not sure I’ve found the answers to those questions, but I hope with all my heart they will have.


# Richard Pierce, January 30th 2014


That’s such a profound post that I am almost fearful of adding to this particular thread. Truly amazing. I remember EaS from when I was about 12, and that’s 40-odd years ago. Always loved them, and the mystery of them. Where does that line come from, when you’re a child, who is really drawing, you or the machine, or some soul inside the red box?

Your switch-off time really interests me. I always count mine as that time over Chroistmas and New Year when none of my computers are on, but everything is still connected. Yours sounds like it’s an absolute, with nothing except the electricity of your body. I should try that. Maybe that’s why I miss the Antarctic so much (and the life I had in Norway for 4 brief years), because in those places I could be entirely away from everything, because being outdoors was to be free, and even indoors, in Norway, firing with wood and nothing else felt primeval and real and tangible.

Man, you’ve got me going now. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.


# Intrepid, January 30th 2014

Wondering about Ben and Tarka while feeling deeply from your heart as you create a masterpiece of them, what an incredible contribution Gav. I also really like the impermanence of the original art; how simple it is to wipe the slate clean after all the effort. I still think a video production would be cool. You could just draw, somebody else would video. It’d have an animated quality mixed with docudrama. All in b&w… with flashbacks to the real thing.

# Lydia, January 30th 2014

Whoop Whoop!!!  Well done guys amazing - I think you will need a whole chapter in the Guiness Book of Records for what you will have achieved by the time you get back - from the magnificant super human achievement to the slightly more bizarre that I am sure your family of bloggers will be able to contribute to.
Keep going brave men and see you on the other side very soon!
Lydia x

# Intrepid, January 30th 2014

@ Lydia,
I second the part about this expedition being able to fill up a whole chapter of new types of records as well as blasting through prior records, in the Guiness Book of Records.

# Heidi, January 31st 2014

My son only recently discovered the book, Guinness Book of World Records.  Today he asked me if Ben and Tarka are in it.  Soon, son, very soon.

# Intrepid, January 30th 2014

Thanks for the link Jörg. Quite interesting to see evidence that Antarctica was, once upon a time, a much more hospitable environment.

# Dave, January 30th 2014

Plate tectonics.  I’m sure I’d move even slower than the continents if pulling a sledge on the Ross ice shelf, let alone the Beardmore.

Great going, guys!

Continued safety and progress.

# Mal Owen, January 30th 2014

Congratulations to the Record Breakers .... I suspect record breaking wind is on the cards. Snap… I had home made Thai Curry last night too!
You were right Tarka…interesting pic….hope the whiteout clears for you…I wrote fades but changed it as I realised you’d still see nothing!
Milestone Under 100 is on its way.

# Jarda, January 30th 2014

Hi Ben and Tarka,
great job! You have to pretty celebrate what you have achieved (longest man-hauling polar expedition in history).
Your endurance is a great inspiration for everybody and at the same time through your journey you appreciate all the people who in “heroic” age of polar exploration risked their lives (under very inadequate conditions) due to desire for uncovering of unknown.
Now it´s time to honour the memory of Cpt. Scott, Dr. Wilson, Lt. Bowers, Cpt. Oates,  P.O. Evans (and not to forget the members of last supporting team who survived but also struggled very hard - Lt. “Teddy” Evans, P.O. Crean, Lashly).
However for me the highlight of heroism was the journey of Sir Shackleton, who had the courage to return before reaching the Pole and who rescued his team (Wild, Adams, Marshall).

# Rosie Vidovix Unsworth, January 30th 2014

Your comment is very interesting and I completely agree.
I imagine, Captain Scott and his men must have felt a terrible sense of failure for reaching the Pole after Amundsen and later when they knew they would die without reaching home. And although they failed on their objectives they lived on to inspire people like Ben and Tarka and many others to go on and do greater things.

# Phil Satoor, January 30th 2014

I’m glad that Lashley and Crean have been mentioned here (and also yesterday by Torsten Richter) as their return journey as the “Last Supporting Party”, the last people to see Scott alive, is a great story of triumph over adversity.
For most of the time, Lt Evans was suffering from scurvy and had great difficulty coming along.  Near the end he couldn’t walk at all and had to be dragged on the sledge by Lashly and Crean, although he wanted them to leave him behind.  About 30 miles from Hut Point, they couldn’t pull Evans any further so with only some biscuit and a little chocolate Crean walked the to Hut Point, without ski or crampons, and with the risk of crevasses, to get help. Fortunately the weather held and the party was saved.
Lashly and Crean, two heros in my book, and also in Lt Evan’s, who dedicated his book “South with Scott” to his two loyal companions who had saved his life.

# Jarda, January 30th 2014

Tom Crean was a quite unbelievable polar hero - not only because of his merit in saving Lt. Evans but also due to his role during the Shackleton´s Transantarctic Expedition in another part of Antarctic…

# Richard Pierce, January 30th 2014

Dear, dear boys,

These last miles will be the most difficult. They may not be as physically dangerous as old Beardmore, but the dangers of the mind can be greater than those outside. I wish for you, today, clear skies and a sun of hope.

The still life is superb. Maybe someone on here will paint it (or Gav Etch-A-Sketch it).

AT the risk of repeating myself, I wrote a poem about whiteouts straight into the blog late last night, so I’ll post it again here (inspired by Ben’s monochrome rainbow). And when I see you pass 79.51S, I’ll post a poem about Scott’s last camp.

Go well, you teo.


colours gone
dimensions dissipated
no up no down no forwards no backwards
no black no white no shades no shadows no reference
no horizon

this is not a veil
it’s a wall
this is not beauty
it’s cruelty
this is no adventure
it’s more than that

we learned to walk as children
with our eyes open
there were cushions for every fall
parents friends grass rocks
we learned to talk and listen

in this cage of no dimensions
we are alone
no cushions
no grass

the horizon shrinks and disappears
we cannot measure distance
the fog freezes to us
the snow turns to sand
we are beached

two hundred miles up
a satellite watches us
blog watchers watch us
they cannot touch us

the desert is transparent
we are transparent
we are ghosts in the ether


# Richard Pierce, January 30th 2014

Thanks for compliment. And like the titles. It will be interesting to see what the boys do come up with. R

# Mal Owen, January 30th 2014

left me speechless ...I hope that is what was intended :-)

# Richard Pierce, January 30th 2014


If your speechlessness was as a result of liking the poem and its imagery, yes, that was the intent. If your speechlessness is due to your astonishment that anyone could write such rubbish, then, no, that was not the intent. I am hoping it was the former.


# Intrepid, January 30th 2014

Can really feel the inside of experience, Richard .... knowing that in the distance is everything, reachable but untouchable, and all alone but seen. Really captures well what has to be shaken off.

# Richard Pierce, January 30th 2014

Thanks, Intrepid. :-) R

# Richard Pierce, January 30th 2014

PS - The title of today’s blog should also be the title of your book about the expedition.


# Lydia, January 30th 2014

What about ‘A Very Long Drag’ for the title of the book?
Loving the poetry!
Lydia x

# Lydia, January 30th 2014

Or even ‘What a Drag…..’
Lydia x

# Richard Pierce, January 30th 2014


Of course, I left my thanks, and appreciation of your titles, as a reply to the wrong post. I am an idiotic Luddite.


# Intrepid, January 30th 2014

Title Take Off’s—- What a Long Hard Drag It’s Been, 100 Days of Dragging


# Rich/Ione, January 30th 2014

The next message we send will be a blank screen representing a white font on a white background in sympathy with your whiteout walking . If you can read it we are sure it will be the most enlightening and interesting comment so far. Will leave it to you to imagine.

# Rich/Ione, January 30th 2014

white on white (blank comments not permitted by the look of it)

# Intrepid, January 30th 2014







# Intrepid, January 30th 2014

@ Rich/Ione
See the above comment

# Rosie Vidovix Unsworth, January 30th 2014

I can only see one of the boys on the horizon (sorry, cant really recognize which one). Where is the other one? lol

# Intrepid, January 30th 2014

@ Rosie
Hahahahaha! The whiteout is so thick you can’t even see right in front of him. Oh wait, maybe he’s behind that dot. So difficult to see much of anything ....

# Uncle Pete, January 30th 2014

Good haulage record. Below 200 to go is fantastic. My thoughts will be with you all the way though I am not sure if I will be able to follow the final steps from the depths of Malawi! Wishing you fair weather and a safe return, well done chaps.
ps another time perhaps Google Glasses for heads-up navigation would be the next adventurer hi-tech kit? Maybe it could even paint some colour to your whiteouts though I am not sure ‘street view’ would have much coverage out there.

# Mal Owen, January 30th 2014

Post to facebook for my daughter .... “I took a leaf out of yours and the drs book, dreamt I was struggling to get out of a crevasse, woke up at 12 ish and couldn’t get back to sleep ! Oh well, so much for Malco Polo !!”  That’s what my kids call me these days !

# Phil Satoor, January 30th 2014

Every day I log in and wonder if you’ll have slowed down a bit, but no, like “ol’ man river”, you “jes’ keep rollin’ along”.

# Chris, January 30th 2014

Massive congratulations on the record!  That is truly amazing and hats off to both of you, my fullest and deepest respect.  Now you’re going to go and smash the record even more emphatically as you add another 200 miles!

# Colin Barton, January 30th 2014

Removing the labels from your food pouches is genius, not sure I have heard of that one before! I remember reading of one explorer who on finishing both sides of a page in his booked ripped it out and disposed of it, could have been Sir Ran or Dr Mike??

# Intrepid, January 30th 2014

Those videos are addictive. I start watching one and end up clicking on all the others that pop up! Well done!!

# Ariane, January 30th 2014

I could not help be reminded of Mandela’s Long Walk. Take heart from his:

“It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.

When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that that is not the case. The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.

I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”

Onward and upward, fellas.

# Brett, January 30th 2014

As I once again wake up in the States to your updates (a balmy -5 here), I inform my kids of what you are accomplishing and always end, Amazing and Inspirational.

# Raven, January 30th 2014

My goodness, how much weight did you save by removing those labels? That’s a really interesting comment on how precarious this whole endeavor is.

# Intrepid, January 30th 2014

Andy - Do you know (approx) how much weight they are still pulling?

# Andy Ward, January 30th 2014

Approx. 62.5kg each at the moment. This will obviously fluctuate up and down with the collection of depots on route.

# Intrepid, January 30th 2014

Yow, that seems quite a bit of weight to still be pulling 97 days later. I recall reading that at least 60 lbs (or is that kg) of weight is tech/communications gear. Sure gives credence to spending R&D money on always working towards more innovative,smaller, lighter, faster, and longer lasting (especially in extreme conditions) high tech!

# Colin Buckley, January 30th 2014

Nearly there, that big moment of triumph is close.
Strength, and focus are the main thing now. The rest is slowly becoming history, behind you.
Look forward to your future as the men who DID IT!
GREAT Going Guys.
Stay safe.

# Intrepid, January 30th 2014

198 miles of skiing to go, 198 miles to go,
You ski some more, make tracks in the snow,
197 miles of skiing to go.
197 miles of skiing to go, 197 miles to go,
You ski some more, make tracks in the snow,
196 miles of skiing to go….

Dear Ben and Tarka,

Under normal conditions, keeping your head down and staying due course means you are staying on task through thick and thin. It means nothing is getting in the way. Not the weather, without night, the condition of snow, the hunger for more food, or the roller coaster ride of thoughts and moods. But you are not in normal conditions. You are pegging the extremes of extreme!!!!  Your post today reminded me of the expression “and this is just the tip of the iceberg”.  I feel for the experience you guys are having, and the agony of what it is truly like, pressing onwards through such dire straits.

With great admiration for all your efforts, including having the stamina to maintain contact with your readers (who are in awe as well as inspired in countless ways by the power of your determination and completing this expedition in spite of everything that happens along the way).


# Heidi, January 30th 2014

“But you are not in normal conditions. You are pegging the extremes of extreme!!!”

Dear Tarka and Ben, it sounds vastly challenging.  Your expedition has been a success because of your ability to endure today - and the 97 days prior.  We are here wishing you and willing you along.  May you somehow find deep rest at night to fortify your bodies for the next day’s quest.  Warm hugs and a bucketful of blessings from So. Cal.

# David Gladwish, January 30th 2014

In awe everyday boys. Respect.

# Tron, January 30th 2014

This is The Ultimate Out and Back Hike

# Richard Pierce, January 30th 2014

Judging from there the boys have got to so far today, I reckon they might actually end up camping very close to where Scott’s final camp was (although that now, of course, is buried by up to 30 metres of snow and has been drifting northwards for over a hundred years at over 1 mile a year).


# Barbara B from Clinton, CT USA, January 30th 2014

Wishing these 2 young men continued strength and inspiration to keep on trucking.
I have followed along being inspired daily by their courage.
I have also enjoyed the jokes limericks and lines posted.
I may need help from Richard to improve upon a limerick I began.

For Ben and Tarka

Two explorers who hailed from Eur
Rope with sleds harnessed on and with fur
Round their faces their “staches”
Ice sculpted their glasses
Reflect dreams ne’er a white out can blur

Or should it be
Round their faces their “staches”
Encase crumbs from their caches
Salami and clean socks the lure

Enamored, inspired and humbled,
Barbara B, Clinton, CT USA

# Leigh, January 30th 2014

Guys, both of you are an inspiration. What you’re doing is barely imaginable to most of us. And to boot, you’re still entertaining even when you’re clearly bored stupid. You’re both so close - I’m getting very excited for you now! (Warm) hugs from Mexico.

# Willie Hannah, January 30th 2014

Ben and Tarka, sub 200, HOOFING!!!!!.  A fantastic achievement, setting records now with every step that you take.  Lots of very esteemed commentators have already said lot’s so just thought I would add my congratulations and best wishes.  Don’t take your eyes of the ball, still a long way to go, be safe, be strong.  Regards, Willie

# Janet Stanley, January 30th 2014

Great mileage again guys & congrats on the record! Thank you for posting your wonderful poem on here Richard as I tried reading it on my IPad & it kept dying so much appreciated :)
Stay safe guys :)

# Richard Pierce, January 30th 2014

Thank you, Janet, :-) R

# Juno Kwak, January 30th 2014

Dear Ben & Tarka,

I’ve been following your journey since you guys started, and it’s been such an inspiration.
You are almost there!  And congratulations on setting the record for the longest man-hauling polar expedition.  I pray for your safe journey until the very last step.

Yours truly,

# AlisonP, January 30th 2014

Stupendous effort and achievement walking into the history books!  And now you have less than 200 miles to go.  I continue to be amazed and stunned at your strength and determination no matter what the adversity.  How you two manage to get up each day and endure what you do for nine hours on the snow (and then everything else involved in preparing for that) is amazing and inspirational for me.  Yesterday I was hiking up my local “mountain”, a mere (but beautiful) 2500 feet from sea to the peak, and I was tiring near the top.  I thought of you two and the conditions you were walking in and it inspired me to push harder and stop whining inside!

I surely hope, and I assume that others do as well, that after you are done with this part of the journey, you will continue to blog about the next part of the journey—what it is like to have completed what you set out to do, and how your firsts are (e.g., first real food, first shower, first sit-down loo!, first hugs with your loved ones, first restaurant meal, first good sleep, so many more).  It has been so amazing and wonderful to hear of your adventures and thoughts and feelings every day,and to revel in how beautifully and vulnerably you write.  Please keep writing!

And when that book is out (we can hope!) and you are on book tour in San Francisco, my husband and I will be happy to host you in our home!

# Phil Satoor, January 30th 2014

Yes, I would certainly be interested to read a continuation blog, but Alison, are you really sure you want full details of their first sit-down loo?!!

# Heidi, January 31st 2014

I hope the San Francisco tour includes a stop down in Southern California, too!  And I agree with Phil Satoor….

# AlisonP, January 31st 2014

I only included the comment about the sit-down because that is something that Ben referred to in one of his blogs and said he was very much looking forward to it   :-)

# Andrea, January 30th 2014

We are very sorry for the headaches and spasms, there is a must to allways hold the chin in the chest, for keeping the neck stretched so as to prevent the cervical contractures (they descends down at shoulders) as the kinetotheray would explain.

# Richard Pierce, January 30th 2014

The boys are now at 79.52S. Will they push on to 79.51, where Scott’s final camp was?


flames in the wind
a mirage of warmth
across the ice
an illusion of safety

we found the tent
when we had given up searching

only the very top remained
a hidden monument
to those we had hoped
were still alive

hope is left wanting
in this climate of reality

we had to dig
to uncover them
and the horror on his face
when death had fetched him

and dig again
to bury them where they lay

a cairn over a cairn
a cross in a white desert
wooden bars above
their final prison

and turned from them
to march north
left their bodies to flatten
under unremitting snows


# Rebecca, January 30th 2014

The map marker now says 79° 51, so they are there, indeed, and I am glad. Even with all traced of the final camp buried so far below, it’s a fitting tribute to spend a night in that terrible place, then wake in the morning, pack camp, and push on in the steps that Scott’s party weren’t able to make.

# Andy, January 30th 2014

Hi Richard and Rebecca
We were under the impression that Scott’s final camp was at S79º40 E169º and One Ton Depot was located at S79 28’53"E169 22’4”(Coordinates of One Ton Depot copied from Charles Wright’s map). I believe Scott never recorded his final position so we will never know the exact position sadly. Please do correct me if you have better information.

# Andrea, January 30th 2014

And the nature’s virtue from there, when they have could no more match her so the spirit has dissipated there, treats them gently.

# Richard Pierce, January 30th 2014

Andy, Rebecca,

I’ve just gone back to the books I have and the most orecise reference I can find is in Crane’s Scot bio, where he quotes the note from Atkinson which actually says 79.51S (nothing more). I’m not sure if anyone did make an exact notation. I’d be really interested in where yours came from. Sorry if I’ve been misleading people with my 79.51; I got that from Worst Journey, I think.


# Jarda, January 30th 2014

it must be somewhat uncomfortable feeling to spend the night at this place (where was Scott’s grave). Bad feelings from this place were well expressed in a book of Reinhold Messner (about his journey with Arved Fuchs)...

# Andy, January 30th 2014

You are not being misleading at all and I am more than likely wrong! We were working off a location where a memorial service for Scott was planned several years ago and I know a fair amount of work went into trying to narrow down the exact position. It is a shame we do not have an exact position.

# Richard Pierce, January 30th 2014


You’re very kind.

I’ve just gone back to all the piles of papers I accumulated when researching my novel. Amongst them is a paper by Lester Chaplow who did a piece on where Scott’s body might be in 1999. He, too, uses the 79.50 reference from Atkinson.

I’ve also got a transcript of Frederick Hooper’s diary, kindly provided to me by the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch. Hooper was a part of the search party that found the tent, but, frustratingly, there’s no geographic reference at all in there.

We’ll just have to setlle for there or thereabouts.

BTW, assuming the boys complete on schedule, when are they due back in the UK?


# Andy, January 30th 2014

Richard I’ll happily defer to your expertise and research. They will pass S79 50 in the first hour skiing tomorrow morning.

We will be announcing return plans to the UK once they have safely finished this incredible journey and have be picked up in McMurdo and flown back to Chile. Watch this space..

As always, that you for your (and everybody following the expedition!) support. It means a huge amount to Ben and Tarka.

# Intrepid, January 30th 2014

IMO, it is well enough to make the journey of completion. Intention is more powerful than the need for finding the exact resting place when it is actually in a state of drift. A tribute to all those whose lives froze in time, with respect and prayers; a symbolic heartbeat of hope which began as a dream and flourishes now through the efforts of Ben and Tarka.

# Richard Pierce, January 30th 2014

Andy, thanks for being so communicative. Much appreciated. I just want the boys’ autographs and want them to have copies of my book.

Intrepid, you are absolutely right. This is about B&T actually completing the journey that was never finished. And we can agree on the fact that they’re treading new ground once they pass 79.40S. Remembrance can pass in a heartbeat. I don’t want them to stop and kneel. I just want them to know, that once they pass that point, they are forging new history. ANd I am with them every step of the way, and wish I was there with them (and bearing in mind I’m wearing 4 layers in my house at the moment, I’d be sponsored by Michelin not Land Rover).


# Intrepid, January 31st 2014

@ Richard
And I would love to be there also!! I’d accept offers from any sponsor who categorically does more good than harm, and in particular, I’d proudly wear the emblem of any group actively involved in the audacious work of the Commons. Daren’t I say that where I am at the moment, I ran out of the house yesterday barefoot. I’d layer up in a heartbeat to be in Antarctica .

# jan, January 30th 2014

My goodness how you inspire so many people.  Keep safe on later stages of your fantastic journey respect from us.

# Ann L., January 30th 2014

Dear Ben and Tarka,

If all I had to go on were the reports of your daily mileage for the past couple of weeks I would think that you were having a grand time down there, skiing under perfect conditions, perhaps on a slight downhill, and with nearly weightless sledges.  Of course, we all know how far wrong I would be.  Thanks for taking us all along with you.  It has been one heck of a ride.

By the way, feel free to make all the snide and snarky responses you like to my comments.  At this point anger is probably more useful than complacency.

Wishing you a good rest tonight and a clear sky tomorrow.

# Alastair Humphreys, January 30th 2014

In the style of Crocodile Dundee…

“That’s not a very long walk”
“This is a very long walk: (UK to Istanbul)”

Cred points to the support team - the unsung heroes of all this…

# TEells, January 31st 2014

It’s so good to see you two so far on the Ross Ice Shelf on the map! You’ve had several days of no grab-ass crevasses to worry about - I know that feels so good! Sorry it doesn’t quite make up for all the white out days. But fairly soon you should see a penguin, and then a seal. Soon you’ll be able to get down on your knees and kiss real earth - the dirt kind!
Say, have you ever wondered where all the water on this planet came from? It must have been quite a meteor! Probably not a fire ball. HA!
I really hope the sky is clear on your last sledge day. That would be so fine!
Prayers and Blessings for your strength and safety,
- Tim

# Sheila England, January 31st 2014

Love the photos, and the blog. Carry on!
& be well. We are all watching.

# James M., February 7th 2014


# Isobel legg, February 8th 2014

WOW to the south pole and back well done Ben and Tarka. Lots of Love Isobel legg.

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