Skiing Down Leverett (Log #53)

L O U ' S   D I A R Y  

Day 54 in Antarctica. Boxing Day. Lou congratulates American Colin O'Brady on his outstanding achievement. Lou achieves his best ever day's distance and sounds gleeful at setting a new personal best of 24.5 nautical miles. With just 40 nm to go to the finish line, the 49-year old is clearly revelling in his own excellent progress through both heavy snow and sporadic bright sunlight. Lou plots 2 days of 20nm each and enjoys the magnificent views as he descends the Leverett Glacier...


Dec 26 2018 - 

Good evening everyone...

Reporting in now on day 54 of the expedition. Quite light winds and poor visibility to begin with, as I made my way towards the start of the descent of the Leverett Glacier. Then I got a little bit of clear weather but not for long – probably for about an hour or so. It was right as I started to descend. It was actually steep enough at the beginning of the Leverett to actually ski. I was actually getting quite a bit of glide, and the pulk was zipping along as well (sometimes wiping me out out) and I managed to ski down some sections, which was really enjoyable, it was fantastic. Then it levelled out a bit, and then whiteout. A real shame… I was hoping to bag some good photography and filming as I’m coming down, as it’s absolutely stunning in here. And every now and again, the cloud and the mist and the fog patches clear and you get a glimpse of a great big cliff, granite walls either side of me as I’m coming down the Glacier. But unfortunately it’s never long enough to get any photography. It’s been kind of like that all day, all the way down.

I’m mid-way down. I’m now down to 5,000ft. I can really feel the difference. It’s so much milder. I think it’s been between about -5 and -10 today, which felt positively tropical. I was down to my thermal top and all my goggles, balaclavas and face masks were all coming off, it was great.

Leverett Camp

Quite a bit of snow fall, heavy snow coming down. As it levelled out, I was wading through quite deep snow and whiteout. I’ve still got a couple more days in here, on the Glacier. I can comfortably finish in two days. I’ve only got 40-odd nautical miles to go. I managed to do 24.5 nautical miles today, which is a new personal best as well, so I’m really pleased with that in 13 hours of skiing. Hoping now, in the final stage of the journey, that I’ll get some good visibility so I can get some great photography and some filming in while being here; it’s definitely the most dynamic and stunning part of the journey coming down, so fingers crossed for that.

Feeling great, confident now that I am going to complete the journey, which has always been my number one objective, from setting out, is making sure, number one, that I complete the solo, unsupported, unassisted crossing of Antarctica. And with 2 days to go, and 40-odd nautical miles, that’s looking really good. I’ve just heard that the American Colin’s finished. Fantastic, well done to him. He’d pushed really hard all the way across and done extremely well, so congratulations to him. For me, I’ve never felt like I’ve been in a race, I’ve never been in race mode, it’s always been about completing the journey, which I’m looking forward to doing in a couple of days’ time. That’ll be incredible.

That’s all from me tonight, mid-way down the Leverett Glacier. I look forward to updating you tomorrow.