Good news from the team today, for after much effort, the 1000km barrier has been broken! The team who reported in last night at -88.752500° have only 130km left before reaching the South Pole!
Bryony speaks of what has been a difficult few days -
“After the sastrugi from hell we thought things would improve, but we faced different issues. Sticky snow was the biggest of these.” Bryony went on to explain how it felt like skiing through sand, with the very fine grained snow producing large amounts of friction. This added an estimated 20-30kg to the effective weight of the sleds, not ideal as the team trying to get more miles in on the final push to the pole.
Bryony also mentioned some spectacular halo effects around the sun yesterday. Namely, a 22° and 44° halo and complex sun dogs and pillars. The cause of halo effects is ice crystals in the atmosphere, though the phenomena described happen only in rare conditions, due to very fine crystals known as diamond dust (where water vapour sublimes rather than freezes)! This only occurs in extreme cold, often below -25°C – a hostile yet beautiful environment.
On the 17th of January we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Scott expedition to the pole. Although the team would have liked to make it to the pole for these celebrations, it transpires that this won’t be possible. They will however do one better than the Scott expedition and come back alive! (Plus they can probably get into the gift shop at the pole, not too crowded!)
Don’t forget to check out the most recent maps and keep up the support!