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.
Mountains, Valleys and Glaciers
We’ve been in Greenland for five days now, and on the ice itself for two-and-a-half. I’d always remembered the mountains, valleys and glaciers of this vast island’s east coast having some pretty breathtaking scenery (I was last here six years ago) but somehow the sheer scale and majesty of it all had faded in my mind, and it’s been a real joy seeing it through the eyes and lenses of my two teammates, Al and Martin.
We’re here to test clothing, equipment and food for our four-month expedition in Antarctica later this year -a dress rehearsal in many ways- but perhaps more importantly we’re here to test ourselves as a team. To see how our little trio might get on for four months and 1,800 miles.
We’ve been hauling deliberately heavy loads, and a lot of kit that sadly won’t make it past my scales to Antarctica. Nikon have been kind enough to supply us with a giant pile of photographic gear, and we’re pulling brand spanking new D800 and D4 cameras, 25 camera batteries (enough for 16,500 photographs), and an array of lenses including a monster 200mm f2. Al’s proving a consumate cameraman and is also dragging a slider, a tripod, microphones and eyepieces, and between three sledges we have almost half a terrabyte of Compact Flash and SD storage. So the holiday snaps should come out alright.
I’ll get Al to write something about team dynamics tomorrow, but right now, as the leader of this grizzled motley crew, lying here on the floor of the tent in the faint warmth of the evening sun, the only way I could be happier with how things are going would be if I could find my missing spoon…