Antarctica Blog - Day 17 - 3rd January 2013

Hi guys.  Feeling good today but an update on yesterday first.  I was tired yesterday and my body was screaming, that’s why I didn’t do a full blog, I just wanted to get into my sleeping bag and hibernate.

I skied 33.5km/20 miles/18.07 nautical miles.  Conditions were good but I felt jaded yesterday.  It was 16 days in to the expedition and physically and mentally I was really tired.  Everything was hard going, focusing on a bearing was tough because I kept losing my concentration, it was just tiring.

I have a target and I have set a standard and I just dug in really.  There is no science behind it, just digging in.  I skied for 9 and half hours still to ensure I got to 33.5km.  I was so shattered, and so glad to get in my bag.  I love my Rab sleeping bag.  My Andes 800 bag has been to Alaska, South America, loads of places with me and I zipped it up, opened my little note from home and just escaped everything and went to sleep.

Had a surprise yesterday, a plane flew over me!  It’s the first life I had seen in 16 days.  It scared the living daylights out of me!  I had some music on and I was focused on a bearing, in my own little world and I thought what the hell is that noise?  I thought I was going crazy at first and didn’t know what the noise was.  By the time I realised what was going on, it was flying right over me and then away from me.  Even though I saw it on the horizon I was so oblivious, it was really cool to see the plane.  I spoke to the ALE guys on my sked call who told me it was one of twin otter’s picking up some scientists who have been doing an experiment and they were taking them back to Union Glacier.

I woke up this morning with a spring in my step.  I felt rested and recovered after a good sleep and this morning I had scrambled egg, bacon, mushrooms, a coffee and I re-read some Christmas cards and felt really good day.  I made really good progress.

Conditions were awesome today.  I skied for 9 hours and did 33.9km/21 miles/18.29 nautical miles.

Today I was spending a lot of time reflecting on last year, the New Year ahead and my crazy day New Year’s Day experience!  I just felt really positive today and excited about a lot of exciting plans for 2013 and just generally felt really good.

I’m still climbing and currently around 1,300m.  The next crevasses I know of are around 88 degrees.  I crossed the 84-degree line of latitude yesterday.

As I move further inland it is noticeably colder, even though conditions today were bluebird it was really cold.

Want to hear my 3 New Year’s Resolutions?!

1/ Celebrate the small moments that sometimes we take for granted

2/ I am going to start growing my own vegetables

3/ Is a private one, nothing rude but it’s personal so I can’t say!

Tonight I have had a good old traditional British dinner...Lamb, potatoes and vegetables followed by fruit salad.  Just drinking a nice cup of Redbush tea too.

All my gear is holding up really well.  Tonight I am going to spend the night in looking after myself!  Gonna spend some time re-dressing my blisters and check my face.  I have some cracking underneath my nose so I am going to get some moisturiser on it and have a night of TLC!

My spirits are really high.  I am feeling confident, grateful and surprisingly, feeling very happy.  I have a lot of positive thoughts going through my mind, which is easier said than done when you are tired.  Naturally your mind tends to go through the negatives.

During the early stages of the expedition I found it difficult steering away from the negative thoughts but now I am feeling really positive.  This trip has given me so much already.  Emotionally I am feeling really good.  Physically I am starting to creak a little.  Everything is hurting.  I am not shy of pain, I expected it to hurt and I expected it to be tough, but I am at that point where things are sore.  It’s not a shock to me, it’s nothing new, I was prepared for it.  Mentally I am still strong but my body is creaking.

The thing that is having the biggest impact on my experience is emotionally I am feeling really good which is boosting my mental state and ultimately my mental state is keeping my body going.

Have a top day tomorrow guys and thanks for all your New Year messages!

Expedition total km/miles travelled to date: 507.72km/315 miles.  

Expedition hours spent skiing to date: 143.25.