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.

Back on the Ross Ice Shelf & A Message from Prince Harry (Day 88)

Day 88: S83° 22' 32.99", E170° 47' 23.64"

Duration: 9 Hr

Daily distance: 23.5 Mi

Distance to go: 418.6 Mi

Temperature: -4 °C

Wind chill: -9 °C

Altitude: 118 Ft

I must have jinxed things by saying to my mum on the satellite phone last night that we were "Home and dry", as we found ourselves skiing through the most treacherous crevasse field of the entire glacier this morning, just a few kilometres from the foot of the Gateway. The slots and holes were real monsters, and covered with thin, fresh snow bridges; when we skied through on our way up to the plateau they were easy to spot and steer round, but now we were travelling blind.

We both went through several times, with Tarka getting the prize for most frightening fall, going in chest deep, skis and all, and getting wedged by his outstretched arms. As I turned to respond to his shouts, my own ski went through another hole and the snow opened up underneath me to reveal a crevasse a couple of stories deep. It was a hairy hour or so, but we made it through in one piece, and to our mothers' relief we're now camped very safely indeed on the lovely flat, calm, 100% crevasse-free Ross Ice Shelf.

It feels like we're on the home straight now, though of course we still have a hell of a way to go, and we're both very drained from hauling sledges almost continuously for a quarter of a year. I have to sign off now as it's getting late but one more thing to share with you. We've recieved a message from His Royal Highness Prince Harry. It made our day here in Antarctica. I hope he won't mind me quoting it below and I'm deeply honoured that he's among the people following our journey (and secretly hope he's been leaving comments under a pseudonym...) "One hundred and two years ago today Captain Scott reached the South Pole. As his expedition tragically demonstrated, such a trek sits at the very limit of human endeavour. You're well on your way to completing what Scott attempted; I wish you both the very best of luck for the rest of your journey. You guys will be an inspiration to the next generation as Scott has been to this."

Thank you all for following, especially to those who've left comments... Keep 'em coming!


# Justin Philips, January 21st 2014

Wow, the prince came calling, a feather on your cap. I predict knighthood next Sir Ben
Good luck and all the best in the last stretch!

# Catherine, January 21st 2014

Well done for making it to the ice shelf…and how wonderful to hear from Harry. He has been in Antarctica with the walking wounded ...maybe you will get to meet him. I sense the excitement of your home stretch now . Here’s to you Ben and Tarka : )

# DJ, January 21st 2014

My word… all that drama and only the most minimal of effect on your hourly distances! Good on ya!

# Christian, January 21st 2014

Ben , Tarka,
I guess your mums are happy now knowing you are off the glacier.
Excellent and brfilliant job.
With your physical and mental power and the words of Prince Harry the Ross Ice Shelf will be your own Champs-Elysees :-) enjoy it and never forget what you have achieved since you started your journey and all preparations 10years ago. If we could we would cheer on the finish line. Stay safe, strong and focused.
Enjoy the food you will pick up on the next Depot.
Christian from Berlin

# Rod, January 21st 2014

The bravery and commitment you have both shown together with the relentless determination to keep your humour and spirits up in the most challenging of circumstances is extraordinary!!!!!! Go Ben & Tarka. You are almost there. Rod

# Will, January 21st 2014

Awesome effort ,....this really is an amazing journey and I wish you every imaginable success for the remaining 15 odd days. God speed

# Rod, January 21st 2014

....relatively speaking!

# Suzen Murakoshi, January 21st 2014

Your hike makes my O’ahu island hikes and Japan snowboarding hikes seem infantile. Needless to say, I thought I was a weakling before I heard about you both! Now, I’m completely inconsequential.You’re amazing.

# Mary, February 3rd 2014

Please do not feel inconsequential! I cannot for a second imagine that is a feeling Ben and Tarka would hope to elicit. Chin up and carry on!

# Pavol Timko, January 21st 2014

Great to hear you are back on the shelf. I hope you will write a book about your journey and Beardmore will be the most adventurous part, now your trip becomes the endurance test.
Tarka should keep his broken crampon as it is, it will be an important artefact in a museum once :)

# wonderwoman, January 21st 2014

Dear Ben and Tarka, hooray to you! It’s good to know you are on flat ice now. With our prayers, we send you a big packet of Finnish sisu, so you can make it till the end!

# Allison & Mark, January 21st 2014

Well that is a relief. Well done to both of you and may the rest of your journey be uneventful. I know a Mum who will be overjoyed.
Be careful, be fast, be safe.

# Hannah White, January 21st 2014

Back on the shelf - as it were - fab, fab, fab news… well done guys, light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter everyday. Loads of love x

# AlisonP, January 21st 2014

Whoa, that was a scary post to read!  An incredible image in my mind from your description of Tarka with arms outstretched hikding himself in the crevasse.  You guys are amazing and amazingly strong and brave to go through all that.  And then you were rewarded with a shout from a prince, what a treat and excitement and honour!  Now you have the most serious dangers behind you, much less weight to pull, and lower altitudes, so hopefully much easier.  Not so many days left before you complete this amazing adventure.  I kind of want more just so i can read your wonderfully evocative descriptions and brilliant writing!

# JonT, January 21st 2014

Splendid job!  Good to hear you both are doing well and are not feeding the wild crevasses.  Best wishes and prayers for your safety. :)

# Chris, January 21st 2014

Amazing progress guys, you seem as physically fit as possible given what you’ve already done, and in good spirits for the journey home to the coast.  I hope and pray that you get through strongly, and that you can enjoy as much of it as possible even though I know it is such a harsh place.

# M.Bartek, January 22nd 2014

All blessings to you and Tarka on the Ross Ice Shelf.  My heart jumped a few beats on the last post.  I will be sharing your story with our school at morning prayer this week.

# Tess Kendereski, January 25th 2014

Thinking of you Ben and Tarka!
Glad you’re safe tonight at least. All far too scary!
Looking forward to seeing you back in Blighty soon. Our love and support till then, Tess, Michal, Zack & Viola Xx

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