(Expedition news on Christmas Day? Now that’s dedication!)
It gives me great pleasure to announce that this morning the team will be passing the half-way point (85° South)! By the guides’ calculations, the team needs to be skiing around 26km a day now to make it to the pole by the 17th. For more on Bryony’s position, see the tracking page; new maps on-line today!
This is by no means easy, but conditions so far have been favourable and everyone is optimistic that they can make it there for the Scott Centennial celebrations! With 25km 2 days ago, and 24.8km yesterday, the day to day rhythm has completely set in. Bryony tells me that things are running smoother with the days skiing only lasting 10 hours; though she confesses this will have to increase closer to the pole to make the deadline. I will stress however, Bryony doesn’t need to make it to the pole by the 17th to break the record, in fact if Bryony finishes the expedition in a years’ time, she will still claim the title! (Though I’m sure we all hope they finish sooner than that!)
A few changes are going to occur with the expedition over the next few days, with the upcoming resupply. This next resupply in the Thiel Hills is the first opportunity for the team to offload anything they don’t need (the previous resupply was flown in and buried, to be excavated by the team later). This can be anything for rubbish to excess equipment and food. With the team consisting of 5 members, it seemed inefficient to carry three tents when only two are necessary. Because of this, the third tent will be left behind for the remainder of the expedition, with the bonus of 6kg less weight. Bad news for Bryony who has gotten used to the space of a tent to herself these past few weeks! At least the tents will warm up quicker!
The resupply is also allowing Bryony to wear some different clothes, namely thermals and underwear! You think it’s bad wearing the same socks for more than a day? Try more than a month! It also means more food! Even with the extra food from the previous resupply, stocks are dwindling, with the hot chocolate completely gone!
The pick-up was due to be on the 25th, however, the supplies are 27.6km away, and the team don’t want to push too hard tomorrow to make it and then have to sort things out the next morning. Instead the team will pick it up midmorning on the 26th.
Bryony says a big thank you for all of the Birthday wishes, and all the Season’s greetings too…”So when you’re all around the table tucking into you turkey and roasties in a nice warm house, spare a thought for me, eating rehydrated meals and trekking 26km in -20°C. Hope everyone has a lovely Christmas!”
Happy Holidays everyone!
Robert, on Behalf of Bryony Balen