Antarctic Blizzard

Date = 22/11/2017
Day =  3 Expedition – Day 8 (In Antarctica)
Location = middle of nowhere
Coordinates  – 87.9808S, 131.6591W
Altitude =   2908m
Temperature =  -30C
Wind speed / direction = 27knot gusts to 40knot, NNE
Windchill = -60C
Distance travelled = 25m!
Distance remaining = 2000 km



Update from Mark:

I’ve been laying here in my sleeping bag, a couple of hundred kilometres from the South Pole, in a raging storm for about 17 hrs. Thank god for pee bottles and the finely turned skill of using them laying flat on your back with your blindfold on.

It’s Mark reporting in and Leo has just read out a slightly depressing weather forecast. It might be 2-3 more days of this! 20-30knts gusting 40, light snow and bad viz.

I seem to turn my mind off a bit. Day dreaming, chatting, thinking of family & friends, reading and listening to music (thanks Dave).

Our tent is like a space shuttle, sheltering us from the terrifying cold and gale winds. But sadly it isn’t that big and frost continuously drops from the walls onto my face. We are all waiting for one of the others to get up and put the stove on and make some tea/coffee. It’s noon already!

Jean and Mark give Leo encouragement as he gives in and puts the kettle on

My favourite niece, Olive sent me a text asking how we keep warm outside. Well first I wear a long sleeve thermal top. Then a one piece full body thermal called a “Leo-tard” (I’m not kidding!). Then a new Berghaus layer called a breathable down jacket. Like a hundred weight fleece but way warmer. Then a one piece down suit. On my head is a balaclava, neoprene face mask, goggles and thick hat. The biggest issues are when your goggles steam up which then freezes, which means you can’t see!! We even look like spacemen dressed like this!

Breakfast update: Leo gave in and got up to make the tea/coffee and breakfast. He reports its cold in the kitchen. Covered in 3cms of spin drift snow and a bit breezy. Jean has just swept the inside walls of the tent with his ‘brosse’ removing a shovel full of snow. Life is good.

A bit chilly in the kitchen this morning

For our mental stability (which is doubtable already) we have decided to remove any mention of “minus” from our temperature discussions. We have a thermometer hanging in the ceiling of the tent. It read 17 this morning! But has risen to 5 briefly just now. The outside one reads 30.

But despite all this we are having loads of laughs, keeping warm and well fed. Patience is required….


aka – fat old man. ‘FAT’ meaning ‘Flippin Awesome Teammate’ and I am happy to be the older one…… Too many friends haven’t been so lucky.

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