Day 47 – Last degree
Lat S89deg 10.356’
Long W79deg 39.466’
Daily distance 14.25nm
Distance to SP 49.90nm
Finally into the last degree
and have taken a ten nautical mile bite out of it.
This takes me to just under 50 nautical miles to the pole so very happy with today. Recorded my best miles day since before Thiel too.
Today’s forecast promised whiteout conditions but what I ended up with was a nice compromise. The sun was an ever present but just not strong enough to burn off the low cloud. It ended up being mostly hazy with another sun dog for the third day in a row. Although the horizon was hidden, visibility was pretty good and you could see clearly into the middle distance. To dampen this there was a reasonable easterly wind of around 20 knots blowing the whole day sending the windchill down to minus 35. It brought with it a lot of snow drift and along with the low cloud made it look exactly how I imagined Antarctica to be before coming here. The wind was blowing across from my left and the constant cold on that side made my left shoulder ache towards the end of the day. All ok now though.
In fact not wanting to tempt fate, I’ve been very lucky on that front. My biggest concern was picking up an injury that either ended my trip or made it very uncomfortable. I was also concerned about blisters as that can turn it into a very miserable time but my feet have been brilliant. Boots and both sets of liners and custom insoles have ensured this along with keeping the cold from my toes.
Obviously I’ve had aches and pains especially in the hips and lower back but nothing a good stretch can’t sort out. The only thing I have suffered with is mild polar thigh on the inner left leg but this hasn’t caused any problems and the same with a cold injury on my upper chest from a harness hotspot. I’ve also had a bit of a problem with ice forming around my face. Early in the trip one of the bits of tape on my cheek got dislodged and some ice formed under it and gave me a cold burn which has pretty much healed now. The worst is where my beard froze to my mask and it hasn’t been given the chance to heal due to the need to wear a mask. I can protect it as best I can but only a few days until I can let it heal properly. Fingers crossed the last days to the pole remain injury free and I get there unscathed!
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