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.

White Island (Day 3)

Day 3: S77° 52' 24.837", 167° 33' 58.1976"

Duration: 6.5 Hr

Daily distance: 6.3 Mi

Distance to go: 1772.9 Mi

Temperature: -30 °C

Wind chill: -40 °C

Wind speed: 16 MPH

Altitude: 105 Ft

We spent today hauling our extraordinarily heavy sleds at extraordinarily low speeds between the evocative and unmistakable landmarks of Mount Erebus (the whacking great volcano atop Ross Island, which the wispy plume of smoke coming out of the top would suggest is still very much active) to our left and White Island (a feature both Scott and Shackleton used to waymark their entry points to the Great Ice Barrier, or the Ross Ice Shelf as we know it today).

The photo is of the former, and I've spent a lot of today a) pinching myself I too am trudging over this hallowed ice, and b) wondering what the scenery looked like for Scott and Shackleton. Now we've lost McMurdo and the Pegasus snow runway (one of McMurdo's three airfields) over the horizon behind us, I reckon it would have looked exactly the same.

The going is still incredibly tough, and on the poorest surface - usually soft snow - the sleds barely move at all. At those moments it takes the kind of effort you might use for, say, pulling a tree stump out of the ground, or pushing an broken-down car off the level crossing to make any forward progress.

I'm not sure about soul-destroying, but our muscles and tendons and toes and heels certainly feel it, and my hip bones feel bruised from the harness. Tarka, sat on his sledge and eating an energy bar at one of our hourly breaks, turned to me with a bemused look framed by the fur of his hood. "Andy kept saying 'Enjoy it, enjoy it' to me before we left", he said. "I'm not sure he really gets what we're doing."

We stopped early today to repair a frayed solar panel cable, and to get a bit of rest as we're making good time. The mileage should creep up tomorrow...


# rodney pattinson, October 28th 2013

souyh of England had a nasty storm last night which is nothing compared with your remarkable achievement good luck rod pattinson

# Alex Hibbert, October 28th 2013

Guys don’t worry about the early distances - 6.3nm is good going at the start. Don’t smash your bodies as they get settled into the daily slog.It took George and I nearly a month to punch through the 10 st. mile/day barrier….

Enjoy tent-time and maybe consider night skiing if the temps at night harden the surface a bit.


# Deacon Patrick, October 28th 2013

Amazing photographs. Thank you for sharing your journey. While it’s easy for me to say from my warm home, it is a gift to be able to share vicariously in your fantastic adventure. You are both in my prayers.

While it’s not the same thing, one thing I’ve learned striking out on my own wee adventures with a bludgeoned brain is that perseverance is a virtue that nothing less than active patience and the choice to take one more step. It isn’t the choice to move forward and do it all—that choice can only help motivate the smaller, bigger choice to take the next step.

May God startle you with joy!

# Zak Rickerson, October 28th 2013

Excited to track your expedition! Can’t wait to see your blog at the South Pole!

# danielle murdoch, October 28th 2013

I agree with Deacon, amazing photos! I am 100% behind you the whole way and looking forward to reading each update! People like you two are so amazing!

# Tucker Hodgson (new braunfels), October 28th 2013

I love you

# Jen , October 28th 2013

It is amazing to be able to share your journey in this way, thank you so much. I am in awe of what you’re doing. Such a beautiful place, but so harsh. I wish my father was still here to read this. He would have loved it. You are most certainly amazing.

# Claudia Tynes, October 28th 2013

Yes, please do take moments to take in that incredible place. Thank you for sharing this journey with me. I pray for you and Tarka every day.

# Darryl Fulgham, October 28th 2013

I hope you have a safe time hauling all your equipment and needs for the expedition!
New Braunfels Unicorns

# Bryce Rutledge, October 28th 2013

I wonder if the Norwegian flag from Amundsen expedition is still there, though I doubt it though since it snows a good amount there every year and the snow is one mile deep.
Hope you make a safe journey.

New Bruanfels Unicorns

# Kristoffer, October 28th 2013

The flag and tent are still down there somewhere.  There was a search launched a while ago to find them, which failed to find them.

# Nick Middleton, October 28th 2013

Great start guys keep ot up!

# Ms. Phillip's 5th Grade Class, October 28th 2013

Good luck!  When you come back, you should sing “I’m Coming Home!”

You are really brave!

Try your best, don’t give up, and please stay safe!

-Indianapolis, Indiana (Greenbriar Elementary School)

# demouri, November 10th 2013

i hope they come back alive to ms.phillip 5th grade class



# frankie, October 28th 2013

good luck man.I hope you come back alive

# old man jones, October 28th 2013

dag nabit this technology sucks

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