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.


The weather closed in last night and Tarka and I woke up this morning to find ourselves in the middle of a complete whiteout, with low cloud and wind-blown snow combining to reduce the contrast - and our effective visibility - to zero.

We're camped near a tricky climb (with a few crevasses in its immediate vicinity) that will take us back on to the glacier we're due be picked up from on Tuesday morning, and because we can't see anything with the weather as it is, we decided to stay put in the tent today and wait for conditions to improve.

Someone asked me recently if Tarks and I underwent any sort of psychological evaluation before setting off for Antarctica together and putting our lives in each other's hands for four months. The answer is that we don't, but I reckon that lying shoulder-to-shoulder in a noisy, flapping, cramped tent for 36 hours in a place where the sun doesn't set at this time of year (and when you've been on high-fart rations for a fortnight) is as good a compatibility test as any. So far we're getting on like two peas in a noisy, slightly whiffy pod.


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