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.

Face Storm (Day 22)

Day 22: S79° 42' 37.14", E168° 35' 27.42"

Duration: 8 Hr

Daily distance: 10.8 Mi

Distance to go: 1639.4 Mi

Temperature: -13 °C

Wind chill: -27 °C

Altitude: 223 Ft

Tarka looked across at me as we sat on our sleds at our second break of the day, eating and drinking. "You know, I've given up hoping for a better surface. If it was going to change, it would have done by now. I'm resigned to the fact that we're going to have to slog it out, but I could really do without this constant headwind face storm."

A face storm was as good a way as any of describing the weather we've had for a few days now; the bullying wind and the never-ending streamers of spindrift. When we're on the move, the only way we can look forward is with goggles and masks, our faces entirely covered. When we stop for food and drink every 70 minutes, we turn our sleds so we can sit with our backs to the wind and remove our goggles and ice-crusted masks, but we usually end up with whirling eddies and vortices of wind around us, blowing a powdery layer of ice crystals into our laps and flicking spindrift into our eyes.

I think we must now be four or five miles south of Scott's final camp, so would have passed its position (or at least its latitude) around midday today. We're now at 79'42 and his famous One Ton Depot was laid at 79'29, with Scott ending his last march 11 miles short of the depot. There's nothing here to mark either point, and the bleak white landscape stretches to the horizon in every direction.

Speaking of depots, we'll get back to answering some questions tomorrow. Watch this space...


# Mickey, November 16th 2013

Fascinating journey. I’ve just discovered this blog, and read every post you wrote and I’m…WOW.
I’m also glad you have the time to answer a few questions from your fans. So as a newly born fan I have an awkward question, but is still a logical (or logistical?) challenge for you:

How do you poop? Especially during blizzards when you’re stuck in your tent?
And what do you do with poop: do you bury it in snow or drag it in a bucket because you’re ecologicaly aware of Antarcitca’s purity?

I know it’s a silly, if not even a provocative question, but I saw you described various challenges and ways you accomodated to this harsh environment, except this part which nobody speaks of.


# Alison P, November 16th 2013

Way to go guys - 10.8 miles!!!  Woo hoo!!!!  A new record so far, I think.  It will change at some point, you won’t always have to have those masks on and won’t always have to have face storms.  Today’s picture certainly makes it clear what happens in a face storm.  Thanks for the pictures and of course taking the time to tell us each day what has happened.  Oh, and I think starting a FAQ and adding to it as you go along is a great idea, to put all of the Q&A in one place.

I wake up every morning and the first thing I do is to open my ipad and read your latest blog.  Here is an unintended consequence—My husband is getting a little jealous of you two now!

Keep up the good work, guys.  You are amazing and inspiring.

# Ephraim, November 17th 2013

My father wrote to me from the Dry Valleys 40 years ago mentioning the “frozen crap bags.” He explained that “you can’t keep Antarctica green, but you can keep it clean.” But they weren’t walking out, their camp was cleared by helicopter.

# Scott Expedition Team, November 20th 2013

As quickly as possible! Antarctica has strict regulations to ensure it’s kept in pristine condition. Where necessary Ben and Tarka bag waste and fly it out with them at the end of the expedition.

# George Chapman, November 16th 2013

Looks like your spirits are up and your getting along really well. I would just love to be there with you. Each day there is another challenge and a goal to reach. The scenery would be just great even if it’s just a white out. You guys take care and thanks for taking us all along

Following you on FB and Google Earth from sunny Central Florida U.S.A. Todays temperature 69ºF at 4:14 AM.

# George Chapman, November 16th 2013

I do have a suggestion to the support team. Since I notice a lot of the same questions every day maybe you could consider posting a “Frequently asked question page” and direct some questions there. Like I have noticed over the last three weeks maybe ten times the question of how do you poop. And What do you eat, or what type boots do you wear. The team on the ice should not be expected to answer every one of these questions over and over again.  Just a suggestion and I’m glad you all are doing such a good job. I know you also have a lot of videos on youtube you maybe could also link all this together on the Frequently asked question page.

# Scott Expedition Team, November 16th 2013

Thanks George. A ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ link is being collated at the moment and will be live with the new process to manage questions next week.

# Around 7 Continents, November 16th 2013

Keep up the good work guys!!  Good luck with the wind and hoping it change direction very soon!  Cheers

# John Matthews, November 16th 2013

keep calm and ski on

# Avi Dhakal, November 16th 2013

I have been following the blog since days and coming each day and reading a post that makes me want to follow you guys out there and share those adventures is a real treat for me. Please continue blogging as well as having fun.
Wishes, Avi

# caninescashews, November 16th 2013

Hi guys,

Nice mileage -  praying for a tailwind!

Stay safe.

# Ed Coats, November 16th 2013

Stay safe and keep walking fellas! I am amazed your title sponsors JLR and Intel are not making more of your trip on their own web pages… A real shame for you both as the story is unfolding here live as you put one foot in front of the other, yet the coverage is just this blog. We are all following avidly. Keep your spirits up and don’t let the facestorms break you. The questions of depots will be really interesting to hear. Are you guys doing any scientific work on route just out of interest? Best Ed

# Andy, November 16th 2013

Hey guys! Just found out anout your amazing journey after listening to the Focus magazine podcast. Truely inspiring adventure, something many of us would love live to be incolved in but will settle with following you guys in your journey. Thanks for making the effort in sharing your adventure on this blog! Good luck, hope weather will be kind to you!

# Mal Owen, November 16th 2013

Good progress (longest in any day yet) despite the face storm ... New OED entry for 2014 ?
I realise that some days you walk for more hours and that many other factors determine your distance, but what would be the best mileage you might expect in an 8 hour day in perfect conditions?

# Paul Hunnisett, November 16th 2013

I’m also interested in the logistics of an Antarctic poo. Please explain! Is there a risk if frostbitten buttocks?

# John Matthews, November 16th 2013

when will we see some video footage come through? I think that would really bring the expedition to life for us couch surfers!

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