Day Five: 55 miles travelled, 660 miles remaining

I’ve just finished for the day, tent up, kit inside – it’s my favourite part of the day. I checked my messages and had one from my Dad to let me know that Liv Arnesen has written a guest blog. It was enough to tip me over the edge and I shed some happy tears. Liv Arnesen is one of the greatest polar explorers of all time, my inspiration and her face is on my skis! All day long she’s smiling at me and whenever the going gets tough I think of her expeditions. Thank you so much for your message Liv, it truly made my day.

20 knot winds and heavy snowfall were the forecast for today, with complete whiteout conditions (again!). The cascading snowdrift looked like staring at a vertical wall of a waterfall coming right at me. It might make navigation tricky, but it is mesmerisingly beautiful. I left a tiny crack open of my front porch (tiny vestibule of the tent) last night and woke up to a snow filled front tent. Lesson learned, any little opening and the snow will find a way in.

It’s still tough conditions underfoot but I’ve made peace with it now…I think. I listened to Cheesy Hits playlist on Spotify and my word, it doesn’t get much cheesier than A1 and a song about KFC and Pizza Hut! The real torture of the day isn’t the deep snow, it’s that I couldn’t skip any songs. The Mighty mp3 and headphone wiring have to be on my skin to keep warm, buried deep under layers of clothing and facemasks. I simply couldn’t get to it easily and had to endure whatever came on next (on  the plus, I had forgot how awesome Busted and Five songs were!)

In worrying news(!), spoke to my sled for the first time today. I think it shocked the both of us. We went over a particularly high piece of sastrugi and once she peaked on it she came hurtling down beside me. I never normally see her in front of me, “Oh hey! What are you doing here?” It’s only day five! And I’m talking to the sled (thanks for all the names you’ve been sending across by the way, and keep them coming!)

Hardest of all is being in a whiteout. It’s impossible to know up from down and I end up feeling nauseous after being in it for too long. The neck pain from arching to look down at the compass mount is also getting worse. The weather front does look to be decreasing tomorrow, I’m keeping everything crossed for some visibility and sunshine.

I’ve been trying to focus on the days ahead, but I know enough about Antarctica that the weather can change at the drop of a hat. It’s hard as I want to make the progress that I’d be happy with.

For the foodies out there, Backpacker’s Pantry delivered the goods again with the Three Cheese MAC for dinner. Absolutely heavenly.

To help Jenny raise funds for Children in Need, click here or text ‘SPJD99 £3’ to 70070 to contribute £3.

Comment below for the chance to have Jenny answer your questions during her solo expedition to the South Pole.

One reply on “Me, My Sled and I – 19th December 2018”

  1. I would not worry about not making the time you want because of the storms. It should even out once the weather clears. But if the weather never clears, well then there you go. Motivational sayings I like:
    “The only easy day was yesterday.”
    “It pays to be a winner.”
    “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”
    “If you get caught swearing, everyone will pay for your potty mouth.” (Negativity spreads throughout your body)
    “Hey man, I got a beverage here!” (From the Big Lebowski. Say this if you fall down or get blown over.)

    Anyways, best of luck!

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