Hi everyone, I made it to the last degree. So I’m on the final 60 nautical miles which is a big milestone. I might even see other people soon as there are a few last degree expeditions going on. I had a long day, just under 20 hours. Its 24 hour daylight but it suddenly gets a lot colder when there’s cloud cover or a whiteout which is what I had for a few hours.
This post goes out to Hannah McKeand (@hannahmckeand), Devon McDermitt (@mcddevo) and Denise Martin. The first polar course I did was Hannah’s Polar Expedition Training course (@polarexpeditiontraining) in Norway in Finse in Feb 2020 and it gave me a fantastic baseline, I learned a lot from the course and some really great instructors. So thankyou very much. I’ve learned from some really amazing people which has really helped me while I’m out here.
Ok, wish me luck for the last degree. That’s all for tonight.
Hi everyone, its getting colder now and I can definitely feel it. The Sastrugi’s a lot lighter now which is great. As of tomorrow I’ve decided *coughing* . . . every time I speak I start coughing and obviously I’m not speaking much which is why you always hear me coughing on the phone. So, as of tomorrow I’ve decided I’m going to pretend as though I’ve just started, I’m fresh, and I’ve got around 5 or so days to go. Just a different way of breaking it up and I’ve done 5 day events and races and things before so no problem at all.
This blog goes out to a few companies who have been so helpful over the last few months and gone out of their way to help me with my kit and preparation. Thank you so much to Jon at The Piste Office (@thepisteoffice), everyone working at Needles in Derby City Centre and Nigel from Prestige Embroidery. Nigel tells me he has no social media so if you know him, please make sure he listens to this blog, thank you very much!
Feeling much better than yesterday and had a well needed sleep. Visibility was good today too which is always nice. Overall I’m doing ok. Im tired but each day I’m getting closer to the south pole and I’m also getting closer to having a coke zero which I’m very excited about.
This blog goes out to Pete Swaile (@peteswaile) who has been helping me with my specific strength training for the last few months. I just want to say thank you so much Pete, I definitely felt stronger and definitely been a huge help out here as well.
Hi everyone. Day 33. I hope everyone had a good Christmas. Today felt like one of my hardest days. Not because of the terrain, as the Sastrugi are getting smaller and I had good visibility as well. But I havent been sleeping a huge amount and I think thats caught up to me.
I was sick a few times today which is actually just annoying because you dont want to take your facemask off and on top of that I also had diarrhea today. Really not what you want when you’re out here. So I had a shorter day, so I’m going to get a good sleep tonight before tackling tomorrow.
This post goes out to Are Johansen (@arejohansen) who was my guide when I trained in Greenland last year. It was a tough trip on so many levels, financially, physically, mentally and I learnt so much from it. Thank you Are for all of your support and advice. When I’m having a tough time out here, I think to myself ‘At least I’m not tent bound stuck in a storm for 6 days!’
I genuinely wouldnt know what day it was if I didn’t do a daily blog. They kind of merge into one and the days feel like they are getting longer. I’m feeling pretty tired and I’m also getting closer to the pole. There was low cloud today, when you really struggle to see the ground, but otherwise all good. Thinking about getting to the south pole now! Still concentrating on each degree at a time.
Merry Christmas from Antarctica!
This post goes out to all of my family, I hope you have a great day and that you have a cardboard cut out of me at the table, which I think is a totally reasonable request. I always quite liked the simple things around Christmas, like my mum usually makes me tandoori chicken so I’m looking forward to that when I’m back!
I hope everyone has a lovely christmas and I look forward to seeing everyone when im back. Thats all for tonight.
Hi Everyone. Still making my way through the Sastrugi. Visibility was good which is helpful. Its going slow through this section, around 30mph winds today. It’s also getting colder which means I dont stop for as long on the breaks. I’m feeling ok, a bit tired.
I would like to dedicate this post to Nics Wetherill who is an Army Doctor and has helped me with all of the medical planning for this expedition. Thank you so much for all of your help.
I’m doing well so far, obviously I’ve got a cough which you can hear. But I’ve had that since the beginning pretty much. I’m a bit tired but I’m getting closer to the south pole so I am looking forward to that. I hope everybody’s enjoying listening to these voice messages.
Hi Everyone on day 30. This morning was really tough, it was a whiteout, I’m still in the section with a lot of Sastrugi. I fell a few times (nothing serious) and I had to use my arms to pull the pulk out from the deep Sastrugi areas. They can get to a few meters high so when its a whiteout and you cant see you’re stepping very carefully.
I’m still making good progress though, I’m feeling tired by that’s to be expected and I’m still thinking about that coke zero at the end.
Every 10 days I’m celebrating something as I open up a new bag and today I am celebrating my engagement! I got engaged a few weeks before leaving the UK! It has been such a whirlwind that I didn’t get to celebrate. And on that note, this blog goes out to my partner, David who has been waking up every morning in the early hours every morning for my check-in call while on this expedition. Dave is quite simply my rock.
Hi Everyone. So the terrain is pretty similar to the last few days. Lots of Sastrugi, uphill and headwind. Still lots and lots of uphill. At one point I was daydreaming about how it would feel going the other way with the wind behind me.
I’m doing ok so far. Bit tired. Feels strange to have been alone for 29 days, its funny I thought id feel more lonely but to be honest I felt much more lonely as a teenager living away and playing a sport full time I wasn’t enjoying.
Maybe while I’m here its because I know I have a lot of people supporting me or because I know it’s about much more than me. I also have my precious voice notes from my friends that I listen to on tough days. I never have much downtime, I’m quite enjoying my audiobooks as well as I’m going.
This is for my grandma (my Nani Ji) who is always ready to make me food no matter how quickly I’m passing through Derby. She gave me some money for Christmas before I left and told me to buy myself something. I tried to explain that I wouldn’t be getting anything from Antarctica but there was absolutely no way she wasn’t going to give me that money. Thank you Grandma, I’ll get something on my way back.
Hi Everyone. Another tough day today starting out with low visibility where it was difficult to see the ground and still a lot of Sastrugi around. I’m feeling tired but still in high spirits. Got a bit of a cough as I’m sure you can hear but otherwise good.
I know I said I might reduce my hours so I get more sleep but I haven’t done that yet and I just keep reassessing each day.
This blog goes out to one of my sponsors, BFBS. Thank you so much for all of your support. I think some of these voicemails are also being shared on BFBS Radio so I hope all of the listeners are enjoying my daily posts!
Tough day today. A lot of height gain. I dont know if the good visibility was a good or a bad thing today as all I could see was another uphill just as I thought it might have flattened slightly. I keep thinking I’m going to see a trig point at the top but I never do. Maybe because I’m not actually at the top yet.
The Sastrugi are also getting bigger, some are a few meters high. It’s also actually pretty stunning when I take a second to look around. I’m in good spirits still and I’m still enjoying my own company which is always good.
This post is dedicated to Jon Fearne (@jon_endurance_coach), who has been my coach over this last year. Thank you Jon for creating my programme and pushing me to train even when it was tough to do so. Consistency has always been the thing that I struggled with the most so having a written programme was so helpful for me!