But at least it is another Antarctic 10km done!! Today was always intended to be a shorter day considering the pains over the last few days. I wanted to see how I’d be able to get on with the neck and how the neck would react to more exertion. At the same time, I didn’t want to overdo it and hurt my muscles even more than they have been.
So, after speaking one more time with the doctor in the morning, I set out at around midday. Complete whiteout for the most part – low cloud meant that only very diffuse light was getting through making it hard to see the obstacles (sastrugi!!) in my path. Fortunately, the sastrugi seem to have eased somewhat; they are smaller than earlier and less prevalent, which is a relief. It still meant also navigating by the compass and using the wind. I am currently wanting to go south southeast and the wind is coming from the southwest, so just keeping the wind coming across from my right helps keep me with the right heading. The cloud also eased a bit towards the end of the day which helped a bit.
Progress was certainly slow. I had to stop every couple of hundred metres or so to try rotating my head around, up and left and down and right; repeat a few times and reverse. It did kind of help. It meant that by the time I did stop to camp at around 6pm I wasn’t in agony this time… which was a welcome relief. Still painful, just not quite as bad!
Storm on its way
So, I have had my evening call with the people at base. I need to come in further east as am quite near a crevasse field to my southwest, but am just about okay where I am. There is also meant to be a storm coming in over next couple of days, with winds getting up to around 100kph. Good test for the tent! And maybe a bit more time for the muscles to recover as it would be dangerous to ski in such conditions!
After note: And now, at 11pm, the sun is bright and high in the sky, making the tent feel so warm; like a greenhouse! Just the wind blowing though it’s easy to forget how it’s -20c outside at the moment!!
Please support Ben’s chosen charity Cancer Research UK
Click on the tracker below to hear Ben’s audio diary from his overnight camp.