Another 26.5km travelled and I have reached my resupply cache! I am pretty much on the upper polar plateau now at just below 2,700m above sea level. The Pole is close to 2,800m but any climbing will be in the next degree and only be gradual.
Additional food supplies and biscuit treats
With my resupply, I now have an extra few days’ worth of food just to make sure I have enough to get to the Pole. ALE also included little Christmas treats; a couple of bear shaped biscuits with my name on! So sweet! The guys at ALE are amazing – great support! I definitely enough food now to be able to take a day off if I want as well. And if conditions tomorrow are similar to today, I’d be very tempted.
Fog and clouds closed in and the wind increased
It just wasn’t nice! Okay at the start it was good, a bit of wind, cloud and sun. I was lucky for it to stay like that for a couple of hours or so. But then the fog and clouds closed in and the wind increased. I was a little worried about the wind strength and putting up the tent, but fortunately everything was alright.
Answering the call of nature
Also—I don’t know if you remember but I mentioned in one post about how I always make sure that I make a toilet in the tent vestibule, so I can relieve myself inside—while I did just that… my bowels insisted on wanting to be relieved yet again during the middle of the day. Which.. Is. Not. Pleasant. Especially in strong wind—wind chill approaching -40C— and having to work out all the layers. Again, fortunately I avoided any cold injuries but I was pretty worried!
Happy to be in the tent now for sure. The forecast isn’t great for the next few days so I will have to think about the day off and see what it’s like. Obviously, I won’t stay put the entire time the weather isn’t great, but a rest day would be nice before the final charge to the Pole!
A bit more about clothing
I talked yesterday about my mittens (I prefer them to gloves as they keep the fingers warmer), though with my main clothes, I dress relatively lightly, so as to not overheat. It’s amazing how much heat your body generates as you travel pulling the sled!
Over the last weeks, while travelling in temperatures reaching -25C (ex wind chill), I have mainly worn a thin fish net base layer. The gaps in the fabric help make it light and easy to dry as well as warm—for both upper and lower body. Then, aside from my normal underwear underneath, over that a pair of thermal shorts to help protect against frost bite with “polar thigh”. On my torso I have just been wearing a light mid-layer.
Then it’s just the outer shell: salopettes and a wind jacket. The way the salopettes come up to the chest also helps keep warmth inside. Though in the Warner temperatures I invariably have had to open up the zippers to ventilate and nut overheat. Again, I don’t want to sweat while travelling as that can be dangerous.
Please support Ben’s chosen charity Cancer Research UK https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ben-weber1
Visit Ben’s blog site to hear Ben’s audio diary from his overnight camp. https://polarweber.com/