To Antarctica and — with any luck — back

While the rest of us approached a comparatively short journey to work today as if it was an Antarctic expedition, Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere continued their walk that’s roughly the equivalent of a walk from Paris to Moscow without much fuss today. They’re in Antarctica.

The two are honoring the 1912 race to the South Pole by British Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, who arrived there only to find a Norwegian team had beaten them there by more than a month, becoming the first record of humans to make the trip.

The journey has never been attempted since, and with good reason. Scott and his companions died while returning from the attempt.

“This journey is a statement that with the right knowledge, skills and values anyone can pursue their dreams and make a positive change to the future of the planet,” according to their website.

This is day 98 of the journey and they have 198 miles to go.

Their most recent blog post might sound familiar to people driving this morning’s commute, but it decidedly is not:

I don’t have an awful lot to tell you today, as we spent all of it battling into a full-blown, emulsion-thick whiteout, so we didn’t see a single thing. We lost our old tracks within the first half hour, we both have splitting headaches from peering into the gloom as we navigated, unable to focus on anything, and shoulders and necks knotted into spasm from hunching over our compass bracket (that straps around our chests to leave our hands free for ski poles). We managed to clock 39km, which we’re pleased with, and which means we’re still on track to hit our depots and make it back to Ross Island on schedule.

One thing we are excited about is that Andy informed us on our evening check-in satellite phone call that we appear to have become the longest man-hauling (i.e. human-powered, sledge-dragging) polar expedition in history, by more than 335km.

Lastly, in today’s gloomy weather there was nothing that inspired me to take a photograph. “Take one in the tent,” said Andy, “People love that. Even a food bag or something.” So that’s what you’ve got: a still-life taken from the position of my head. As you can see, it’s Thai chicken curry tonight (we peeled off the food bag labels in Chile to save weight) and as I’m not cooking, I’m in charge of overseeing battery charging from the solar panels.

(h/t: Than Tibbetts)

  • MrE85

    Frankly, I’m thinking they are honoring the wrong guy. Has he brave? Sure. All the explorers were brave. But Scott was poorly prepared, pig-headed and took risks that got him and his team killed. My South Pole heroes are 1) Shackelton 2) Amundsen.