First of all, I have to pass on a big hello from Bryony and from the rest of the team! You’ll be glad to hear that the team is in high spirits and are enjoying the time at the Union Glacier base; home for the next two days.
Stew and red cabbage? In Antarctica? You’re even allowed seconds? I’ll be flying out tomorrow! Bryony tells me she is being well looked after at the base and is enjoying the hot meals while she can. The team will remain on the base until the 25th, when (if all goes well), they will fly out to the Hercules inlet on the morning, and begin skiing, hopefully managing half on that first day before stopping for the night (approximately 7-8 km).
Having asked Bryony of the first night sleeping in the Antarctic, I was told that fuel and body heat warmed the tent up to 20°C; so with a sleeping bag designed to be comfortable below -40°C; it was a little stuffy! Before the team settles in for the night this evening, a 5-10km ski is planned to see how smoothly the group will be able to work their way across the continent. For this they will only be pulling around half of the total weight of the pulks, to ease them into the challenge ahead.
Rather than taking a direct route to the pole, the team is planning a number of twists and bends. At the beginning of the expedition, this will be due to the known location of crevasses which must be avoided, but later due to the need to pick up re-supplies at different sites. Just a warning in case the maps showing the track of the expedition show Bryony apparently heading the wrong way!
Before Bryony sets off, I’d like to point out that the expedition have elected to stick to Chilean time, which is 3 hours behind GMT/UTC. Any times quoted shall however be noted in GTM/UTC.
Robert, on behalf of Bryony