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.

Pea Souper (Day 89)

Day 89: S83° 2' 42.43", E170° 3' 55.44"

Duration: 9 Hr 30 Min

Daily distance: 23.6 Mi

Distance to go: 395 Mi

Temperature: 1 °C

Wind chill: -4 °C

Altitude: 223 Ft

Despite being down on safe terrain now, Antarctica, as it always seems to, ensured that today had its own special forms of challenge and struggle in store for us. It felt tropically hot this morning in the tent, and a bit like a mild January morning in Wales or Scotland when we ventured outside; the temperature was above freezing and the sky was completely overcast. The surface was fine, but we spent all day travelling under a uniform grey blanket of cloud that obscured our view of the mountains to our south and west, and meant that we were skiing towards a horizon that was little more than a fuzzy grey line, with no reference points to mark our progress or take bearings on.

We headed homewards blindly, skiing on a bearing taken from a compass mounted on a dinky chest harness we have for days like this one, and leading was tortuously hard on the mind. In essence it was like spending nine and a half hours on a treadmill, staring at a grey wall with a slightly darker horizontal line running across it.

Thankfully, after a music and headphone-free few days on the Beardmore (for safety reasons in the crevassed areas) we could plug into our tunes again today, which helped us from losing the plot completely, though we both have an odd form of motion sickness lying in the tent this now.

It's bed time here now, and we have our fingers crossed for better (or indeed any) visibility tomorrow. I've attached a photo of the view today as I sat on my sledge at a break, and as you can probably surmise, we'd both relish the chance to see in our 90th day out here with a little more visual stimulation...


# Philip, January 22nd 2014

My son Tom (aged 15), a keen rower (and sponsor with his younger brothers of mile 516) said to me out of the blue last night: “I tell you what Dad, when I’m on the river in the rain and the wind is up and it’s cold and I’m miserable, all I do is think of Ben and Tarka toughing it out in the middle of nowhere with noone else in sight and I’m absolutely fine.”  I don’t think he is the only one to be inspired. We’ve read every gripping word of every post: keep going guys; you’ll soon pass all those other sponsored miles. Amazing. All the best, Philip.

# Rebecca, January 22nd 2014

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the photos, Ben. Even the ones that seem to be quite simple on the surface convey much about your experience, the terrain, the colors, the surface, the weather, the features (or lack thereof), your mood. I appreciate them as much as I do the words, and am, once again, grateful that you have the time and energy to post these for us. Hoping for clear skies and easy going for you today (and I’m amazed at the great mileage you make even when trudging through pea soup!). Rock on!

# Susan from Michigan, January 22nd 2014

Hope you have a day filled with sunshine and blue skies. Glad you are getting closer to your goal. Philip is right. We are all inspired by your journey. You should feel very proud after reading how his son is so inspired by what you are going through. I am sure there are many stories to be told about how you are changing peoples lives with your experience. Stay safe and God speed!

# Dave, January 22nd 2014

Today’s picture speaks to the emotional challenges you face, which at times I imagine rival the physical trials.  I’m looking forward to your reflections on how they compare.

Continued safety and progress.

# Heidi, January 23rd 2014

Woo hoo!  You’ve gone below the 400 mile mark!  It’s like watching “the Biggest Loser” and seeing the contestants go below a hundred mark.  On the drive to school this morning, I filled my son in on yesterday’s trek, commenting to him about the difficult visibility and navigational conditions you faced.  We talked about how there is really only one color you saw out there.  Gentlemen, just wait until you see green again - trees, grass, etc.  It’s gonna blow your minds.  In the words of a fellow “Ben and Tarka” club member, please stay safe-ish.  Warm hugs from Southern California.

# KEITH CHAPMAN, January 22nd 2014

As always, I’m facinated about who’s music you’re listening to. Which tune in particular will you listen to again one day and be reminded of a certain place that only a few people have actually visited ?

# Sheila, January 22nd 2014

Music does wonders. I know it is minor, but Scott did not even have that.
Sleep well.
- Sheila

# Mal Owen, January 22nd 2014

You’re clocking off those miles and days despite all the challenges thrown at you…. I’m clocking off to my bed.

# Marina K, January 22nd 2014

Late check in from me today… Looks like you have gone a mega distance since I checked this morning.  Your blog, journey and daily challenges are touching so many people: a friend of mine had surgery on her spine today and the last thing question she had for me pre-op was about how you guys got on yesterday!  The impact you are having is spreading… kinda like a super-positive, virus we all want to catch.  Keep on racking those miles up and let the music take you (but not too far off course please!).  xx

# Austin Duryea, January 23rd 2014

Well, it sucked that you didn’t have a view and couldn’t see anything. But at least it wasn’t a really bad blizzard or storm that would keep y’all from having to stay in the tent all day. How long does it take to travel just one mile with the sled?Do you know?

# Ty McClelland, January 23rd 2014

You guys are almost there!!

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