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 Last Degree (Day 60)

Day 60: S89° 01' 33", E157° 38' 49.44"

Duration: 9 Hr 15 Min

Daily distance: 21.7 Mi

Distance to go: 970.3 Mi

Temperature: -27 °C

Wind chill: -40 °C

Altitude: 9875 Ft

If you eavesdropped on our daily banter up here, you'd be forgiven for thinking Tarka and I aren't enjoying this expedition all that much. Our conversations at break times, when we turn our sleds so we can sit on them next to each other with our backs to the wind, usually go something like this: Tarka: "What on earth are we doing with our lives? This is ridiculous." Me: "Tell me about it. I'm retiring after this trip." Tarka: "Mate, I'd already retired from this nonsense..." Etc.

But there are occasional moments of magic. We talked briefly today of what it must have felt like for Shackleton and his men as they turned for home near here, and for Scott and his team as they headed on to the Pole. For us, the South Pole represents people, air traffic, vehicles, noise, buildings, warmth, safety; it's a huge distraction and we're keen to arrive in the dead of night, take our photos by the Pole and get away again before anyone notices us. For Scott and Shackleton it was a point in the centre of a vast expanse of nothingness. The feeling of remoteness and isolation they must have felt at this stage of their journeys must have been immense.

We're also talking about food more, and have both noticed that our senses of taste seem to have become sharper, and that we're getting enormous pleasure from all of our rations. I often close my eyes at breaks while I'm munching away, and I suspect very few people have derived quite so much pleasure from a "Cocoa Delight" Nakd Bar, a "Nutty" 9Bar, a "Belgium Chocolate" Organic Food Bar, or ten squares of Green & Blacks 85% dark chocolate, all of which featured in my 6,000 calories today. I'll take a photo of a whole day's food soon, so you can see how we're fuelling our progress.

We would also like to thank everyone who was involved in sending us a message in Intel's Christmas card which we reciveed last night on our Ultrabook. It's wonderful to have such support from around the world. Thank you all. 

We bagged another 35km today and have crossed the 89th degree of latitude, which we're pleased with, though we're both feeling as tired as you'd probably expect us to now we've been out here for two months (with two days off) and have covered about 32 back-to-back marathons. It was -40 degrees Centigrade windchill all day today and we were outside for 12 hours, and I often feel it's almost miraculous that we can get up again every morning and do the same thing. Apologies for another scenery shot, but the sun was creating an amazing effect on the horizon today, which I'm hoping you can see after we've compressed this photo to send it back via the phone.


# Andrea, December 24th 2013

Exactly, the projection of the sun onto the horizonT’s empty ice. As the sun is also in isolation there. For the highest human life, this trip is not ridiculous , nether from the angle of the needed means that you are using elegantly . 

# torsten richter, December 24th 2013

Addendum: Please do not fall like Lashly on 12.24.1911 in a crevasse. Still 3-4 days and the first stage is done! Hang in there and have a nice Christmas Eve.
Best wishes from Torsten

# Offroading Home, December 24th 2013

All of us at Offroading Home send a warm Merry Christmas to the Antarctic travelers and to all those whose lives they have bettered and emboldened over the past two months.

A special Christmas “gift” has been added to the “unofficial Scott Expedition Google Earth Resource Map” for the holiday season; available free at:

# Ann L., December 24th 2013

At this time of year you might want to be careful showing up at the pole in the dead of night with a sled in tow lest you be mistaken for a certain Mr. Claus, especially with your rosy cheeks and the twinkle in your eyes. Then again your bellies, or rather lack thereof, should the matter straight.  Since Santa is prohibited from bringing you the usual goodies this year, I hope he will at least bring you fine weather, strong legs, and good cheer.  Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

# Leigh Phillips, December 24th 2013

Go Boys!

# Christian C, December 25th 2013

Ben & Tarka,

Happy Christmas! Wondering which one of you has secreted a noble plum pudding in a spare sock…

Amazing progress. Keep at it!



# Dave, December 25th 2013

Hello Ben an Tarka. When you ask what you are doing with your lives the answer is easy. While we spend our lives watching movies and television in between naps on the couch, you are pushing the limits on physical endurance while inspiring people around the world. You are making memories and breaking records. You are living the dream and turning new pages in human accomplishment. Way to go guys. Thanks for every step you take on this journey, and thanks for bringing us with you.

Merry Christmas from Michigan!


# Mal Owen, December 25th 2013

Merry Christmas everyone !

# Sean Chapple, December 25th 2013

Bravo Zulu. History in the making. I hope you packed sone goodies to celebrate today :-)

# Sarah Fenwick, Expedition Psychologist, December 26th 2013

love the description of mindful eating

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