Flat Run (Log #35)

L O U ' S   D I A R Y  

Day 36 in Antarctica. A good day. Lou moves on across a hard, flat surface through light winds and great visibility. It's a flat run all day and Lou makes 15 nautical miles. He's now only 8 nautical miles from 89 degrees South, which is the last degree to the Pole...


Dec 8 2018 - 

Good evening everyone…

Reporting in now from day 36 of the expedition. A really good day, I was able to make some good progress. Weather conditions were good; very light winds and great visibility and the surface was good as well. It’s really flattened out now, I didn’t gain any altitude today, so I had a flat run all day, and managed to achieve 15 nautical miles. I’m really pleased with that – that’s a quarter of a degree in a day. I finished today, I’m camped now at 88 degrees 52. I’m only eight nautical miles from 89 degrees South, which is the last degree to the Pole. All being well, tomorrow, at some point, probably early afternoon, I shall cross 89 degrees South, which will put me 60 nautical miles from the Pole. Obviously a lot of expeditions start, they come out and do the last degree. They get dropped by plane at 89 degrees South and ski in to the Pole, the last 60 nautical miles, over the course of a few days. It’ll be great to get there and be that close to the Pole.

I can tell I’m getting close – I saw a couple of planes today, a couple of ALE Twin Otters, probably ferrying tourists up to the Pole and back again. Again they were fairly low on the approach in, and it gives that feel of getting closer.

Shackleton Tent And Flag

I whiled away the hours today skiing thinking back to childhood memories. I was reflected on my first ever expedition that I did. I was about 14 years old. I’d just read a Ranulph Fiennes book about one of his trips. It inspired me to go out and do something. It was the school summer holidays and I decided to cycle from my mother’s house in Spalding in Lincolnshire, to my dad’s house in Stonehaven in Scotland. I literally grabbed my push bike, grabbed a small sleeping bag, a bit of cash, and off I went. I think it was over 500-odd miles. I did about 100 miles a day. I hadn’t told my father I was coming either. I thought I’d just surprise him. I rocked up, on the fifth day, at his place, and he was completely gob-smacked and didn’t believe for one second I’d cycled. He thought I’d come up on the train with my bike and just cycled in from the train station. It took me ages to convince him that I’d actually cycled the whole way. That was my first-ever expedition; fourteen years old and I’ve been doing lots of whacky stuff ever since. That helped pass the long hours today.

Just to finish off, a couple of shout outs. A shout out to Newall Hunter. Newall, thanks very much for the piece of carbon fibre that I’ve been using as my cooker board, it’s been absolutely brilliant. I hope you’re enjoying watching the journey. And also to Gus Magee, one of my sponsors who helped out with a private donation. It’s hugely appreciated. I haven’t forgotten, Gus, about potentially popping out to Greenland – me, you and your son – for a little adventure at some point in the future. I look forward to that.

That’s all for tonight.