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.
Improvise, Adapt, Overcome (Day 84)
Day 84: S84° 32' 33", E168° 12' 16.2"
Duration: 4 Hr 30 Min
Daily distance: 12.1 Mi
Distance to go: 503.3 Mi
Temperature: -9 °C
Wind chill: -16 °C
Altitude: 4278 Ft
By the time you read this it'll be January 17th, which is the date Captain Scott, along with his companions Bowers, Oates, Wilson and Evans reached the South Pole. Scott famously described it as "An awful place" and their journey over the plateau as "awful monotony", and while Tarka and I have had a pretty unique glimpse into the sort of deprivation, exhaustion and suffering they must have battled, we're also awestruck at their tenacity and spirit in the face of such profound isolation and risk; neither of which we have come anywhere near experiencing, with our daily satellite phone calls, emails, live satellite tracking, and video messages from loved ones, friends and supporters.
Speaking of suffering and deprivation, we're both hungrier than ever, which I wasn't expecting after the amount we refuelled following our resupply, but I suspect our bodies have so little fat or superfluous muscle they can turn into fuel that we're almost totally reliant on what we eat to keep us going now. Tarka commented today that dragging a sledge full of food around and yet being hungry all day is a pretty effective form of torture.
Lastly, an update on our progress: Tarka snapped one of his crampons today so we've stopped early to repair it, and while it was a real shock and an undeniable setback - especially as the crampons were among the few bits of our gear that have seemed bombproof and performed flawlessly so far - the repair looks solid and we should be able to put in another big day tomorrow. As Tarka put it this evening (I've omitted several swear words to make his feelings suitable for a family audience): "This place never gives you an inch, it never cuts you any slack and it always has to have the upper hand. It's either a whiteout or a headwind or it's freezing cold or a bad surface or there's some catastrophe like this. I've never known anywhere like it."