An all uphill slog for the team! With still a few days before the team reaches the Antarctic Plateau, there will be plenty more of this too! It does help that the weather has kept on the side of the expedition, with clear skies and little wind allowing another good (if tiring) day of skiing.
A question was asked concerning how Bryony is able to ski uphill without slipping backwards. This problem is solved with the use of skins on the bottom of the skis. This is a simple strap that can be attached to the underside of the ski, which acts like a sawtooth blade, providing little friction on the front stroke, but digging in on the back, gripping the snow and preventing the team sliding in the wrong direction!
For the six days of the expedition so far, little could be said to have gone wrong. Wednesday brought the first hiccup in proceedings when Ronnie displayed the crossed poles to tell the team to stop. The bindings used to attach boot to ski had snapped. Fortunately, this is a regular occurrence with the type of binding, so the team have many spares. Fixing the binding took a matter of minutes allowing to the team to move out without much delay.
More issues with the Bob and Ronnie (the two Americans of the expedition), stumbling into Bryony’s tent in the morning and falling into the foot well. Claiming to be disorientated it was decided that the two had carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty stove and a the tent facing into the wind while they were cooking! Fortunately the Americans fully recovered by midday, and the faulty stove is no longer in use.
Importantly, the team has figured out how to make the hot breakfast (a treat once every three days) edible! By mixing copious amounts of butter and cheese with the pemmican (result of the bacon cooking) in a wrap. Sounds delightful, but I’ll stick to my bacon sarnie!
With not a breath of wind, and a lower incline than the previous day, Bryony and the team managed a massive 19km yesterday! Speaking to Bryony yesterday, jacket unzipped, tent entrance open, looking into the evening sun, she tells me about spotting the Pirrit Hills, the next (and one of the last) visual way points, approximately 80km away. The team is currently headed slightly West of a direct path to the pole in order to pick up the first resupply, after which it’s straight South to the British Record!