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.

Nearly off the Plateau (Day 80)

Day 80: S85° 28' 5.81", E159° 49' 47.64"

Duration: 8 Hr 50 Min

Daily distance: 24.9 Mi

Distance to go: 585.1 Mi

Temperature: -21 °C

Wind chill: -31 °C

Altitude: 8215 Ft

A quick update as I'm in charge of the stove again tonight, we're both tired after another solid day's work down here (24.9miles (40.1km) in just under nine hours) and it's getting late as I type. We've descended about 150 vertical metres today; not a massive drop, but it meant that we had some stretches that were definitely downhill, and we were able to glide along with our sledges almost weightless behind us.

The surface has been pretty hard going, with a lot of sastrugi running in different directions, and it looks like there's been a lot of strong wind here since we last passed this way, as our tracks were almost impossible to pick out, and we travelled on a bearing for most of the day.

Despite having to put less effort into the dragging part of the exercise, I still feel beaten up lying here this evening; the now-puny muscles in my arms, shoulders, chest and back shocked at having had to brace with my ski poles countless times today to stop me falling over as we hurtled along on the good bits.

We should pick up our depot that marks the top of the Beardmore either tomorrow evening (if we cover a similar distance, as it's just under 24 miles (38km) away from here) or at some point on Tuesday morning. There's a clean pair of socks waiting for each of us, buried along with our cache of food and fuel, which is a surprisingly exciting prospect.


# torsten richter, January 13th 2014

Hi guys!

Hang in there and continue to be mentally strong, because the marathon is one from Km 30 and only the head. Goes well on the descent of the glacier.
Greetings from Berlin

# Jon Collins, January 13th 2014

Hang in there, clean socks are always exciting

# Allison & Mark, January 13th 2014

Clean socks, what a treat.
I wonder if there is someone out there who would pay a princely sum for socks that have been part of an historical event? Maybe a scientist/biologist would show an interest in what you have been cultivating in the deepest, darkest depths of you boots….oh no…just thought about other items of clothing! Best not to go there me thinks…..

# Jerrold, January 14th 2014

I found you two today thanks to Men’s Health Magazine. Truly amazed and inspired by what you are showing the human spirit and body can accomplish. And equally amazed by the world we live in. Where I can in some small way particiapte and contribute to your effort from a world away in California. 
Carry on young champions!  what a world if we all aspired to such things!

# Richard Pierce, January 13th 2014

Less than 600 miles to go. That’s another huge milestone. I hope you manage to pick up your depot on your next leg, so you can sleep in clean socks and keep them on until you get back to the hut at Cape Evans.

I can’t believe, Ben, that you’d describe yourself as having “puny muscles in my arms, shoulders, chest and back.” Because that can’t be true.

Hopefully you’ll have some more great downhill bits on your way to the depot.

Take care, and God Speed.


# wonderwoman, January 13th 2014

Great going! Try to be careful going downhill. We send you love from Finland and pray for you.

# CaninesCashews, January 13th 2014

Hi guys,
What an immense effort on the mileage front – second only to your spin round day at the pole. Easily the highest ‘normal’ day mileage, whatever passes for normal out there on the ice.
It also means you have covered over 157 miles in the last 7 days – a cracking pace.
On the socks front, at least your frequency of changing means you won’t be faced with that ‘post holiday’ sock wash and nightmare pairing session!
On the subject of your depots – do you keep a note of everything in them or do you leave a little surprise for yourself that you don’t write down, maybe a food treat?
Stay safe,

# Iain, January 13th 2014

Clean socks to boost morale. It’s the small things that have great importance. When do you change your clothes next? Very inspiring stuff. Take care.


# Janet Stanley, January 13th 2014

Great going again today, read a story of a soldier in second world war cherishing his socks…more important than you realise! Please stay safe :)

# Helena, January 13th 2014

Hello, keep going, we are still with you in our thoughts :-) Friends from Brno.

P.S. As a kind of support I suggest we should change our socks in the same time interval as you do :-D

# Richard Pierce, January 13th 2014

That’s a brfilliant idea!!


# Harlan, January 13th 2014

Your journey has been so inspirational to me… Thank you!

# Mal Owen, January 13th 2014

Great mileage… That extra pud worked wonders. That’s 7 days at 20+ miles….you’re flying towards that Brobdingnagian ‘B’.
The Ceremony of The Changing of the Socks .... You must be so looking forward to that…it’s a wonder they don’t walk by themselves !

# Marco, January 13th 2014

Great job guys !

We send you all the best and good luck for the last few miles :) of your epic journey !

Greetings from the Southwest of Germany, Marco

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