Distance travelled today: 16.5 miles
Distance still to go: 567 miles
Cumulative distance travelled: 162 miles
Hours skiing: 8.75hrs
Temp: -14 deg C
Of note: Lewis rang us, on a crackly line, today. He sounded very well. However he seems to be doing his best to work through the A-Z of polar ailments. Whilst the blisters and polar hacking cough are improving, the high winds of a few days ago (which led to periods of windchill down to -40C) have left him with some early ‘polar thigh’. This is where despite wearing 2 layers of Norwegian Brnje thermal trousers and super windproof outer trousers the cold damages the upper thighs. This is partly because the prevailing wind in Antarctica radiates from the South Pole to the coast, so they are always walking into an icey headwind. When that wind becomes very strong, or gale force gusts as a few days ago, it pounds relentlessly into Lewis’s leading edge – his hands and thighs. The thighs are also vulnerable because the high levels of fat mean there is less warming blood getting to them. At its worst thigh frost bite can cause serious injuries but Lewis has caught it early and has added a fourth layer of protection to his thighs which has solved the problem. Those who attended Lewis’s talk before he left will realise that he had planned to buy a down ‘miniskirt’ to prevent this problem but in the end decided against it. Tiny decisions in the warmth of a UK living room that come to be regretted 6,000 miles away. [Photo shows ‘Battling through the wind’, thanks to James Caird Society]
Despite all this, Carl and Lewis are currently making cracking progress. Lewis is ‘in the zone’, pounding out mile after mile, day after day. We managed to tell him about all the magnificent support he is getting back home from friends, relatives and his school (QEH in Bristol) – QEH Juniors raised over £400 for the Prince’s Trust on his behalf this week. And we read out lots of the blog and Just Giving messages, which he loved, so thanks for that. I also told him about the 100s of people from all over the world (including N Korea, Russia, China) who are following his progress through this blog. It’s a huge, freezing, lonely place and it meant a lot to him to know of all the support he is getting back home, thank you.