Hours on skis: 8 hrs
Cumulative distance: 573 miles
Still to go: 129 miles
Weather: 30mph strong breeze with blowing snow. Extremely cold (-28C, feels like -41C)
Of note: report to base camp was just a single word – “COLD!” . Lewis and Carl are now into latitude 88, beyond the worst sastrugi field and on to the Antarctic plateau. The next week will be the coldest part of their journey and every time they leave their tents frostbite is a threat, especially with the current strong breeze.
Antarctic clothing is specially designed and not much use elsewhere because there is no need for it to be waterproof, the two key features are for it to be windproof and light and then layered for warmth. Lewis will be wearing one or two thermal underlayers from the Norwegian manufacturer Brynje, the first layer will be the famous Brynje mesh which is apparently very warm although how a shirt with big holes in keeps you warm is deeply counterintuitive. Then they’ll be a midlayer windproof fleece from Rab and if needed a Rab down gilet. On top of all that an outer windproof coat from Norweigan specialist Norrona with detachable wolverine hat trim, and a down jacket from Norrona which he will put on over the top of everything whenever he stops hauling as this is when he will feel coldest – so 6 layers if needed. Lewis’s mesh Brynje pants are even wind proofed – see picture, sorry Lewis! but if you will go to the South Pole and leave your parents in charge of the blog what do you expect 🙂