Day Sixteen: 180 miles travelled, 535 miles remaining
The winds finally started dropping and the clouds cleared a little today. There was more sunshine by the afternoon, which was great but now I’m in my tent sweltering – solar radiation is doing its thing through the tent fabric!
I listened to Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari on Audible for the whole day. A great book and one that I highly recommend – also very helpful if you need to keep going all day in Antarctica.
I saw the first signs of sastrugi today. The grooves and ridges sculpted into the snow by the wind were a welcome change in the scenery from the flat, featureless landscape I’d been trekking through for the last two weeks. I’m still having to make my way through deeper snow than I would like, but I’m certain it is starting to clear up a little.
A stomach infection isn’t ideal to have here but I’m getting through it, just holding out for it to clear up. The going is definitely tough. Three other solo expeditions have withdrawn so far this year and another guided group took over 40 days to reach where I am now. The snow really is that impenetrable; it’s such hard work getting through it.
The logistics team at ALE keep reminding me that these are freak storm conditions. I know from my own research that the weather is usually very stable this late in the season, hence why I decided to depart later on. Richard Parks, another British explorer in Antarctica who is aiming for men’s speed record, is ahead of me – he started his expedition late in the season for the same reason. We’ve simply had an unlucky year weather-wise… but we keep going!
Happy 30th birthday to my brother, Jack! I’m sorry I’m not there to celebrate with you, but I listened to the Spice Girls today which reminded me when we were teenagers and we used to make you step in as Posh Spice for our dance routines as we were one Spice short! There’s a reunion tour next year, if you’re keen…
To help Jenny raise funds for Children in Need, click here or text ‘SPJD99 £3’ to 70070 to contribute £3.
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