The Journey – Day 1
Lat S80deg 00.277’
Long W80deg 06.894’
After breakfast we got notification that the flight to Hercules Inlet would leave at noon. Final pack and tent taken down before loading into the small aircraft along with four others. A short 20 minute flight had us land on the Ronne ice shelf just under four miles from the first waypoint in order to safely navigate onto the land mass although this line can only be discerned using ground penetrating radar.
A strange start with three expeditions consisting of five people then headed off in the same direction! It wasn’t long before we were out of sight of each other as Ryan Waters and his team stopped early then Wendy Searle (looking to beat the female speed record) carried on after I decided to stop. A short day of five hours including breaks and 2 miles closer to the South Pole (not including the four to get to the start)
There was barely any wind and with the clear blue skies and sun streaming down it made for hot conditions unbelievably and the effort at this stage is increased with it being uphill for the first few days and the pulk being at its heaviest. I have also opted for half skins which makes it more difficult to get purchase with the skis but when it’s flatter then they will be quicker than full skins. The skins are a length of fabric which adhere to the bottom of the ski and are smooth one way to enable forward glide and are rough the other in order to grip on the snow.
Spaghetti bolognese (in a bag!) for dinner and made my call to Union Glacier for my daily check in.
Pretty tired even after only a half day but understandable after almost two weeks of not training. I’ll add more hours to my day tomorrow and will gradually increase this until I’m up to around ten hours of skiing a day. It’s a long way to go so plenty of time to get used to the hours of pulling.
So excited I’m finally under way!!!