Hours on ice: 8.5 hrs
Cumulative distance travelled: 328.7 miles
Distance still to go: 374.2 miles
Wind: Moderate breeze (fresh breeze forecast for tomorrow)
Of note: Lewis has snapped one of his skis! (sorry to the Bristol Children’s Orthopaedic group who have kindly sponsored the very specialist skis (Asnes Skiutstyr Amundsen expedition), at least it is not a leg he has broken though!). This is most likely to have happened when he was bridging across the rock like sastrugi. If you are going to break a ski he is fortunately in the one place where ANI can get a new pair to him …. but it is still now a 25 + mile walk, and a wait till Dec 27th at the earliest, till they can get him a new pair by dropping them at the Thiels airstrip. Let’s hope the weather is conducive to flying or he could be waiting a very long time! Carl famously assured us that these skis were “unbreakable” so they didn’t take spares, but then he hadn’t reckoned on Lewis! This is what expedition manager Steve Jones says on the subject “Lewis has joined a very select group of polar expeditioners who have broken skis. In fact I can’t think of another person who has broken a ski in Antarctica, the only ski breakages that I can remember have been on the Arctic Ocean on North Pole expeditions where the stresses on skis are much greater. In 2002 we had a non-skiing participant who walked 70% of the way to the South Pole in his boots, which shows how hard much of the snow surface can be and going back to Captain Scott’s expedition Birdie Bowers had already cached his skis when he was reassigned to the final polar party and had to walk more than 150 miles to the Pole and 150 miles back to his skis – so breaking a ski is not a total disaster.”
The ski breakage will delay the expedition however, first by Lewis having to walk for the next two days and secondly by having to wait for a flight to drop replacement skis. He will now spend his Christmas Day walking to Thiels in a fresh breeze and -25C. On the plus side once they get there on Boxing Day they will get their first day off in 25 days.
Picture shows Asnes Amundsen expedition skis (from the great Toft Terreng shop near Oslo) – if you look closely you will see an picture of Amundsen is printed on the skis.