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.
N69° 09' 50.5", N030° 05' 17.7"
Temperature: -15 °C
Wind chill: -34 °C
Wind speed: 18 MPH
Today was a belter, though it didn't start with an awful lot of promise. We woke up in the minus twenties to a tent covered in hoarfrost, both lying in our sleeping bags knowing that the first one to kneel up and reach for the pee bottle would trigger a miniature snowstorm.
Half an hour later, with the stove going full pelt, breakfast being rehydrated and flasks being filled, the warmth means the frost turns to condensation (meaning a late-morning lunge for the pee bottle triggers a miniature rainstorm instead).
We skied through cloud for the first hour, and when it lifted the view was sublime. The wind had picked up by this point and we were heading straight into it, wearing goggles and masks, and furry hoods pulled tight around our heads. We both had headphones on as well; I don't know about Tarka but my little iPod was going through an L phase - I remember Little Dragon, LTJ Bukem, Lykke Li. And while the newly-revealed scenery was nothing more than mountains, some snow and a blue sky, somehow the combined effect was so beautiful that I'm willing the memory of it to lodge somewhere handy in my cluttered-up brain.
P.S. Tarka and I are sending high-latitude happy birthday wishes to our brilliant film-maker, Mr. Temujin Doran. Have a great day Tem.