The Hamster (Log #10)

L O U ' S   D I A R Y  

Day 10 in Antarctica. After a break in communication we're now back with Lou as he hits double digits for days spent on the ice. It was a day of heavy sastrugi, light wind and plenty of snacking. After 10 hours of hard pulling and cheek packing, Lou makes 14.3 nautical miles - an extra three miles on top of yesterday. The pulk is now 12kg lighter...


Nov 12 2018 - 

Good evening everyone… 

Reporting in now from day 10 of the expedition. A bit of a milestone day, going into double figures, and it was really satisfying this evening, once I’d finished skiing, to take out my food for this evening and roll up a 10-day food bag and shove that into the back of the pulk. It’s nice to know that 12kg lighter so great to have that.

As I suspected, today was another heavy sastrugi day. It was pretty epic and probably slightly worse in places than yesterday. You can get into these areas of sastrugi and they can last a few days so I knew that was coming. On the plus side the weather was good – very light winds – they backed right off which was nice – and the lower temperature overnight, the surface in between the sastrugi was a bit firmer so the pulk could move a little bit better. And for my ten hours of hard pull I managed 14.3 nautical miles today, so an extra three miles on top of yesterday, so really pleased with that. 

I’ve taken to almost becoming a bit of a hamster I’ve noticed, with the food. As I’m skiing during the day, I have a thing called a grazing bag, which has got chocolate, nuts and other bits. It’s also got in there 200g of cheese and salami which I have each day which I eat once I’ve stopped for a break (about every hour and a half I’m stopping briefly for a quick drink and a mouthful out of the grazing bag. The salami’s all right – it’s obviously deep-frozen and the salami because it’s thin slices it melts quite quickly in your mouth and you can eat that quite fast. But the cheese, even though it’s cut into cubes, is absolutely rock solid. So what I’ve had to do is cram in about five bits of rock-solid cheese and pack it into my cheeks, and hold it there and set off skiing and give it a couple of minutes and warm them up, and soften them enough in my mouth so I can then start chewing on them. So actually quite nice to be skiing along and eating cheese for a few minutes after you’ve set off.

Lou Rudd Camp

Finally, just to finish off, I was skiing along today and I noticed something moving, which is really unusual out here. (With very little wind anyway as the only thing you’d get moving is spindrift). But I spotted something up ahead move, and then disappear down a bit of sastrugi; it was really odd. I thought maybe a bird, but not this far inland, there’s no wildlife or anything out here, and it was right in the distance. I skied again, and I saw it move again, across, and I changed my direction slightly to move towards it. I got a bit of a surprise when I got there. I’ll reveal what it was in tomorrow night’s blog!

To be continued….. 

I’d just like to dedicate this evening’s blog to my neighbour and good friend Keith Jones, who sadly lost his life to cancer only a few months before the expedition. So I’d like to dedicate this blog to you Keith. That’s all for tonight.