9,000 Feet (Log #34)

L O U ' S   D I A R Y  

Day 35 in Antarctica. Lou is now only a few days from the South Pole, but it's a tough day today. He was expecting firm surface up at 9,000ft on the Polar plateau, but the usually hard-packed surface is soft and Lou is forced to heave the heavy pulk along for a slow, hard slog. Apparently it's a tough season all across Antarctica - Lou still gets in 13 nautical miles...


Dec 7 2018 -  

Good evening everyone…

Reporting in now from day 35 of the expedition. Surprisingly tough day today. I was expecting the surface to be quite firm – I’m now at 9,000ft, right up on the Polar plateau, a few days out from the South Pole. From my previous experiences, it’s normally quite a hard-packed surface and you can make quite good progress. But unfortunately not, no. It was quite soft today, which made the pulk feel really heavy and it was a just a long, hard slog all day. I’ve been reliably informed though, that right across Antarctica there’s been a lot of snow fall and most expeditions seem to be experiencing quite difficult conditions. It seems to be a bit of a tough season at the moment.

But I still managed to get in just under 13 nautical miles, but really tired by the end of the day and collapsed into the tent pretty much done in. Hopefully a bit of colder air or wind will firm the surface up over the next couple of days, so we’ll see how we go. 

I wanted to do a bit of a shout out. There’s a really nice lad, Italian guy, Daniello, who flew into Antarctica at the same time as me, and we had a few days together at Union Glacier. He set off the day before me from Hercules Inlet, attempting to be the first Italian ever to ski solo unsupported to the South Pole. Unfortunately I’ve just heard this evening that he’s had to withdraw after 30-odd days, which is a real shame. He made it to 83 degrees South, but again experiencing really difficult conditions and has had to pull out. So a real shame. So just wanted to do a shout out to Daniello. Tough luck mate. Hopefully you have a chance to come back and have another crack at it.

And then another shout out. I know there are a lot of schools following the expedition, I’ve had a lot of really nice messages. I want to do a shout out to Madison Baker, who’s Abbie Smithers cousin, who I’ve met. She’s in Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, she’s following the expedition. I just wanted to say hi and hope that you’re enjoying all the blogs and stuff and hopefully I can come and visit your school when I get back from the expedition.

Lou Rudd Ski

There is a plan in place when I return from the expedition, starting around about March time, for four months I’m going to be touring the country, visiting schools and cadet forces, and talking about the expedition. Hopefully I can get round quite a few venues. That’ll be a great post-expedition exploit phase. To be able to do that and hopefully inspire the next generation. I’ll really look forward to that phase of the project.

That’s all for tonight, hoping for better, firmer conditions tomorrow so I can get my mileage back up again. Homing in on the South Pole and hopefully I’ll get there in a week or so’s time which’ll be a huge milestone – really looking forward to that.

That’s all from me.