Day 54 Another painfully slow day

Yeah, am going through a bit of a tough patch at the moment. Am at S88 55, which means I am five nautical miles away from the last degree; 65 nautical miles away from the Pole (at a rough guess around 75 miles). So close! Yet it really does feel so far away.

All too happy to setup the tent at the end of the day

I only managed 19km today, probably one of the lowest distances across a full day since the start of the expedition almost a couple of months ago. Really felt it as an endless struggle and I was all too happy to setup the tent at the end of the day. This was despite the near perfect conditions with the sun out shining over the plateau (see photo!) and relatively little wind.

Seeing Mateusz again

Mateusz, who I last saw at Thiel Corner, passed me—super nice guy! Was great to see him going so well, and he should arrive at the Pole pretty soon as well. Really happy for him! A lady doing a solo expedition also from Hercules Inlet, who started after both Mateusz and I also passed! She’s amazing-she’s taken only around 30 days to get this far!!! Incredible! I know I was not looking to go for speed with this expedition, but still, seeing her disappear off into the distance… yeah, it just made me feel more tired!

88th and the 89th degrees are much harder than they look

Same issues as yesterday, with Sledmund feeling heavier than he should, and just feeling drained. My neck and shoulders are definitely not helping things and I have found myself stopping more frequently again to try and stretch. According to ALE the 88th and the 89th degrees are much harder than they look: while they are relatively flat with hardly any sastrugi, the cold conditions together with the altitude issue I mentioned yesterday make it much harder. I spoke with them earlier and I might consider another day off; maybe that would help me acclimatise better and relieve the fatigue. Will see how I feel and speak with ALE again in the morning about that; bit worried about remaining food though will see what can be done.

Am sure I will get back to decent distances; just need to breathe!

Big Thanks to you all

Really great to have everyone’s support and it was so nice to read your comments on Alan’s nightly email. I really do appreciate everyone’s thoughts and wishes. They really do mean a lot to me especially during this difficult part of the journey.

Visit Ben’s blog site to hear Ben’s audio diary from his overnight camp and donation links to Cancer Research UK at

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