So close to the Pole!
With only 74 km to go to the Pole, it’s hard for Cas and Jonesy to contain their excitement. If all goes well (i.e. weather, injuries etc.), the guys should reach the South Pole in 2 – 3 days.
They are currently at an elevation of 2764m – a long way from their starting elevation of approximately 200m!! With the elevation climb, they have started to feel the cold a lot more and have had some restless nights because of it. On the trail, they feel the cold mostly in their hands but thankfully have no frostbite to report.
Cas and Jonesy have averaged 33 km days over the last few days (excluding the rest day on 23 Dec) by increasing their time on the trail and changing their skiing to rest ratio. The sun has been shining and it’s easy for them to get lost in their thoughts in such a beautiful, untouched area.
Even so, being away from friends and family over Christmas was a little sad. They cheered each other up with a couple of light-weight presents, some Christmas pudding and calls home to the family.
They left their last two caches over the last few days – one at 88 degrees and the other at 89 degrees in order to reduce the weight that they were carrying to the pole. Food is still tightly rationed at the moment, and will continue to be so until the end of the journey. While everyone at home is thinking of walking off the weight that they put on over Christmas, the guys are thinking about the weight that they will need to put on when they get home – they estimate that they’ve lost between 15-20kg each.
Four days ago the guys passed 88° 23′ S, being the point where Shackleton’s expedition turned around in 1909. At the time, this was the farthest south that any expedition had been before. In reaching that point, they faced a severe blizzard that lasted for days, were very low on food, and their extremities on the verge of frostbite. Completely exhausted, they planted the Union Jack at 88° 23′ S and then turned around – 97 miles away from the South Pole.
Cas and Jonesy thank everyone for their continued support and can’t wait to send an update from the South Pole.
Cas and Jonesy admin.