L O U ' S D I A R Y
Day 48 in Antarctica. Lou wakes again to howling 40-50mph winds and head-height spin drifts. He ploughs on through low temperatures and wind chill dropping into the -30s - Lou feels it with his lack of body fat, but still achieves 23.4 nautical miles! A new personal best and the furthest he's skied in a day in all of his 3,000 miles of polar travel...
Dec 20 2018 -
Good evening everyone...
Reporting in now from day 48 of the expedition. Woke up to very similar conditions today as yesterday; howling winds – it must be a good 40-50 miles an hour – driving head-height spin drift, so really tough conditions. Yes, in story conditions, you guessed it – another vesti-poo. It was absolutely great, not having to go outside. But definitely, conditions demanded it! I went out and ploughed on. Really low temperatures. My God, it’s brutally cold at the moment here. With the wind chill it was well into the -30s, I’m guessing about -35.
I’m alright when I’m travelling, when I’m moving, working hard, I’m fine but the breaks are really uncomfortable. I kind of almost dread now stopping for the short breaks. But I have to stop to go for a pee, to drink, and to eat a bit of food. I’m only stopping for about six or seven minutes, is about the average break time. But even in that time, my God, my body temperature plummets, and any heat I’ve built up is instantly gone, it takes me about half an hour into the next leg to get back, to being comfortable again.
To get my hands back, and face, and everything else. It is brutally cold. I’ve got to be so careful at the moment, for cold injuries. I’d be gutted. I’ve avoided any major cold injuries all the way through, and to get them right towards the end, would be a bit devastating. I’m probably struggling a bit as well I guess because I’ve lost all my body fat. I’m really lean now, and I guess that’s making me a bit more susceptible to the cold as well. Last night, I had to sew a little tuck into my thermal underwear – it was a size medium, 34 waist – I reckon I’ve lost four to five inches at least off my waist now, and they just kept slipping down. So I had to do a bit of sewing so they stay up.
Today I crossed 88 degrees South, I’m into the 87s, that’s fantastic, I’m really pleased with that. Go on and ask me how many miles I did today….. I know you’re dying to. What’s that? No… today I did 23.4 nautical miles! A new personal best, it’s the furthest I’ve ever skied in a day in all of my 3,000 miles now of polar travel. I’m really pleased with that. I think it’s just that it’s so cold, it made me ski faster just to keep warm. In normal miles, I think that’s well over a marathon distance, at -30, in a strong wind, dragging a pulk. So I’m quite pleased with that, and I’m still up at well over 9,000 ft.
Well, I think that’s all from me tonight, it sounds like I’m going to get more of the same tomorrow conditions-wise. Hopefully I can keep the mileage up.
That’s all for tonight.