The Company of Mountains (Log #13)

L O U ' S   D I A R Y  

Day 13 in Antarctica. Two years since Lou was dropped at Hercules Inlet with the SPEAR17 team, Lou hits day 13 in Antarctica. The sun is out and the whiteout has lifted, offering clear visibility and a chance for Lou to choose his lines and thread a path through the larger sastrugi. Lou also catches sight of the Pensacola mountains as he closes in on Thiels Corner - about 15 nautical miles away. 


Nov 15 2018 - 

Good evening everyone… 

This is me checking in now from day 13 of the expedition. What a difference a day makes. Much better conditions today, I could actually see where I was going, which was a bonus. The sun was out, and the whiteout had lifted so that was fantastic. I was aiming to thread my way through the bigger sastrugi and pick better lines. It did involve quite a bit of weaving about but it made the hauling that little bit easier. Overall a good day. Also got to see some mountains over on my left hand side as I was skiing – a huge range right out in the distance came into view, which I think is the Pensacola mountains. It was nice to see something on the horizon, and it is truly magnificent to be able to see those. 

I’m now closing in on Thiels Corner, which has a ski way used by the support company ALE, they’ve got a fuel depot there, and a lot of expeditions pick up a resupply as they pass through Thiels as well. Obviously I won’t be doing that as I’m on an unsupported journey. But there’s a mountain range out the back of Thiels as well which hopefully will come up on the horizon. I’m about 15 nautical miles from Thiels now, so hopefully in the next couple of days I should pick something up. It’ll be great to actually ski towards something, which makes that navigation a little bit easier, and gives you a sense of progress as well. If you can see something on the horizon and day by day it’s growing and getting that bit bigger it gives a sense of progress and that you are moving forward. So looking forward to hopefully sighting the Thiel mountains.

Quite a significant day for me actually, the 15th of November, it’s a bit of an anniversary. It’s exactly two years ago today that I was dropped at Hercules Inlet with the SPEAR17 team, to begin our traverse – a supported traverse, we picked up one resupply at the Pole – we did 1,100 miles; a complete crossing of Antarctica two years ago, and we started that journey two years ago today. A big shout out to all the SPEAR team members, most of them came along to the launch event for this trip and will be following this, so a big hello to those guys. I’m really missing you, it’s quite sad and lonely on my own out here and I miss all the banter and the great times we had as a team here in Antarctica and I look forward to catching up with you all when I get back. We did become known as ‘Beer 17’ at one point, so I’m looking forward to reinvigorating that when I get back from this trip.

Tent Gear

I spent today whiling away the hours listening to an audio book, which was really good actually. It’s called The Secret Barrister, which was recommended by my daughter Sophie, she’s just finished her law degree and she’s now in London on her barrister course training to become a criminal barrister. And she recommended it. Sophie, yes, that was a great recommendation and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Best of luck on your barrister course and I’ll be thinking about you all the time.

That’s all for tonight. I look forward to updating you tomorrow.