Today (day 5, but the fourth full day!) was tough. The pain in my neck from yesterday had only been temporarily alleviated by the painkillers, and while it was still much better in the morning as I got up, I could definitely feel it. I wanted to get going though and hoped that I’d be able to manage. Hummm! It was a slow and painful day, and I just did 7 hours instead of my 8.25hours on the previous day, and even worse, I only managed 10km. I must have looked like I was practicing yoga in the ice as I needed to stop every few minutes to try and stretched, turn my head from left to right and up and down… definitely not ideal!
I spoke with the doctor at the Union Glacier base and we think it’s muscular: one possibility is that it is a trapped nerve but I don’t have all the symptoms for that. Also, I discovered that I had my harness so that it was too loose around the waist and too tight on the shoulders; which definitely didn’t help. I adjusted that half way through the day, though a bit late to notice any difference. Decided that best to take a stronger painkiller tonight and have a rest day tomorrow, to allow the muscles to recover… hopefully will work. Not ideal, but I have the rest days planned for.
The slow progress was compounded by the terrain and the very strong wind. Tough conditions!! There were just endless sastrugi fields; non-stop!! And pulling Sir Sledmund the Sled through all of that is not easy even without the pain in the neck! The winds just didn’t help, though at least visibility was great and I have an amazing view of the mountains of Horseshoe Valley and the Three Sails from where I camp. Could be worse!
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Click on the tracker below to hear Ben’s audio diary from his overnight camp.