Distance travelled Jan 4th: 4 miles
Time on skis: 2.5 hrs
Distance travelled Jan 5th: 16.5 miles
Time on skis: 9 hours
Cumulative distance: 508 miles
Still to go: 193 miles
Weather: -20C, cloudy/sunny
Of note: The boys have now skied more than 500 miles and entered the infamous Latitude 87 (the main sastrugi field). Carl reports that day thirty-four was like “being inside a ping pong ball”.
The coldest temperature ever recorded on earth was made in 2010 in East Antarctica, -93.2C (-135.8F). Now of course it is currently summer and although the temperature decreases as Lewis and Carl trek higher onto the Antarctic Plateau and more inland, this is tempered somewhat by the fact that as the expedition has progressed they have moved from early to mid summer. When they started out temperatures at the South Pole were down to -40C, but today the temperature at the South Pole is a balmy -24C.
The unbelievably cold winters are why the ‘expedition season’ is so short in Antarctica, from November to January. Because Lewis and Carl are doing a relatively long trek they will be some of the last to leave before winter starts to set in. Ranulph Fiennes tried to do a winter crossing of Antarctica last winter, with vehicles, but the cold and constant darkness defeated them. Frankly right now though Lewis and Carl are probably less cold in Antarctica than many Americans on the East Coast!