Distance travelled: 15.9 miles (best yet)
Hours ski-ing: 8.5hrs
Distance still to go: 617 miles
Temp: -13C, weather set to improve in terms of easing winds
Terrain: firmer, relatively easier going
Of note: less windy, good day in terms of distance made. The good news is that Lewis’s blisters are improving and they are now travelling a good distance each day, the bad news however is that Carl had to speak to the expedition doctor (at base camp) last night regarding Lewis’s nasty dry cough. It is a common complaint for polar travellers but very annoying and uncomfortable and Lewis is unlucky to be suffering at such low altitudes (1-2,000ft). I sent him with a massive array of cough sweets in anticipation of this cough but didn’t expect it until the last two weeks of the expedition. It’s easy to forget that Antarctica is technically a desert, the driest, coldest, windiest place on planet earth. They have experienced the unrelenting Antarctic winds, now Lewis knows he is in a desert.
Here is some information about High Altitude Hack with thanks to Polar Explorers website:
Khumbu Cough (or High Altitude Hack)
(Ahem!) This is (ahem!) one of the most (ahem!) annoying ailments (ahem!) on any mountaineering or polar trip. It doesn’t affect everyone, and if you haven’t had it you won’t be able to relate, until you get it. It’s a dry persistent cough named after the Khumbu area in the Everest region. It affects many high altitude climbers, but it also makes its way into the Polar Regions where it is likely brought on by the intense cold, dry air, and over exertion. In bad cases it can lead to torn chest-wall muscles or fractured ribs but we don’t see this in the Polar Regions. Rather we experience it as an annoying ailment that we try to control for the sake of comfort. Recent developments in the world of face masks (such as the Cold Avenger face mask) help to keep the air you breathe moist and warm. You can also cover your mouth with a buff or balaclava in a pinch. Sucking on candies also helps and is the preferred treatment for most people.