Ascent to the Plateau

Hi everyone.

An encouraging update from Bryony’s expedition.

Monday 5th December

Bryony and the team report exceptional conditions, managing a distance of over 23km in only 10 hours of skiing. (That’s an average speed of over 2.5km when removing the rest breaks!) The guides feel happy with the team’s progress, which should reach the Antarctic plateau within a week! It was clear talking to Bryony that the team is feeling very lucky with all the good weather and the progress even in the occasional white out! This was no help to Bob, who had a mild cold, which is fortunately now on its way out!

Below is a picture of the team on their first white-out day on the 2nd November, which has been likened to a number of things, “being in a jug of milk”, “skiing through a room of white where you can’t tell up from down”, and my favourite “living in a Ping-Pong ball!”

Tuesday, 6th December

The Only way is up! Upping their game to make up extra time (and a few hours extra for rest days) the team completed a trek of 25.2 km. Being struck again with recurring good weather is certainly helping! Although, a slight wind and temperatures can hardly be favourable weather anywhere other than Antarctica! The expedition camped at S 81.33.816, W 81.19.101, more managing just about half a degree of latitude in two days!

Wednesday 7th December

Winds had picked up on Wednesday with speeds exceeding 18km/h. Nothing Bryony and the team couldn’t handle however, pulling their pulks a massive 23.6km; most of which was uphill! The wind did however affect their dinning plans, which had the previous two evening been outside

The terrain is now bringing to take the shape of the imagined polar plateau. With only the very tip of the Patriot Hills to the North on the horizon the team is soon to be within view of their next navigational benchmarks, which is two Nunataks; hopefully in view within the next two days. Nunataks are the tips of mighty Antarctic mountains buried by kilometres of ice!

Thursday 8th December

Two weeks into the expedition and the team are making excellent progress. The team managed 21.5km yesterday, which was marred by a slow start meaning skiing for longer to reach such a distance. This wasn’t helped by the cold that had been bothering Bob, which has given some of the other team a bit of a rough throat and sniffly noses, including Bryony (if you go to you can hear how bryony is getting on through a voice segment!)

Bob cooking outside on one of the recent calm evenings.

The team is relieved to report the terrain is flattening out as they reach the edge of the polar plateau. Only a few days until the team’s first resupply, a regular refuelling station between the Patriot Hills and the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

Thanks again for the continued support!


Robert Carey on behalf of Bryony Balen

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One Response to Ascent to the Plateau

  1. Alison Henshaw says:

    Keep going, Bryony. We are watching you! Dr H

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