So, it was a mixed day today. 15km covered and I felt pretty decent after the rest day yesterday. The pain in neck had subsided; uncomfortable but not bad. Great conditions at the start with a gentle breeze and clear skies. Perfect! Up and all packed up and ready to go by around 10am.
The omnipresent sastrugi was there of course just as you can’t have life too easy here. Really is endless! And Sir Sledmund Hillary has a bit of an issue with them as it’s really hard to pull his bulk over them, and if the sled comes to a large sastrugi at the wrong angle, it basically gets stuck. I have to look for ways around or just use all my strength to get the sled over them.
Looking for ways around the sastrugi becomes harder in whiteouts when you literally cannot see the sastrugi until you are right on top of them. And by around 1pm it had all clouded over and was pretty much whiteout conditions. Fortunately, this seemed to coincide with an easing in the frequency of the sastrugi, but still… not easy.
The last couple of hours I started to feel the pain returning a bit to my neck. Not too bad, enough to continue. But by the time I did camp, when I stopped, the pain suddenly became quite excruciating again when I turned my head from left to right. Frustrating and painful to say the least.
I managed to setup the tent and everything alright, but it was a bit of a tortuous process, and called base camp for my daily scheduled call. Discussed with the expedition manager and the doctor there and we agreed that best taking another rest day and more meds. Most important is for this to get better then get more distance out of the way. I still have plenty of food and supplies so it should be alright. Just a bit of a pain the neck really! hehe!
So, had a nice beef hotpot tonight, some crackers, cookies and a hot chocolate. Time to get ready for bed! Have a good night!
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Click on the tracker below to hear Ben’s audio diary from his overnight camp.