Day 18

A good today with good visibility, which makes such a difference when you can see where you’re going. Feels strange that I havent seen any sign of another person for 18 days. It’s tough going out here, but im also living a simpler life which I quite like. Ski, put up my tent, cook, sleep and do it all over again. I’ve got a few aches here and there but thats completely normal after pulling a heavy pulk for 18 days.

This blog goes out to my cousin who’s nickname is Spikey and her kids, my niece and nephew; Simar and Kanwar. She lost her partner, Inder, who was 38 years old, a few months ago and I wanted to dedicate this blog to all of them. I’m sure he’s up there watching down on you all with your Mama Ji.  

That’s all for tonight.

You can see my live location and listen to my audio updates here.

Image taken before leaving union glacier.
(image taken before leaving Union Glacier)

Day 17

Hi everyone. Day 17, long day today. Poor visibility again travelling in a whiteout. I turned my GPS on a few times just to double check my direction as I couldn’t see anything in front of me. It requires a lot more concentration staring at my compass all day, so pretty tired today. I think travelling in a whiteout is more mentally draining too. But on the bright side, I’m one day closer to the south pole!

When I’m tired or I’m finding it hard. I think about different memories and today I was thinking about how many people from the Indian community thought I was going to Southall. I can still imagine them thinking why I’m making such a big deal about heading to Southall. I think it might be just a little bit colder here.

This blog goes out to Mitie who were my first sponsor that came on board. I emailed at least 10 companies every day after work trying to get companies on board. A lot dont reply and obviously with Covid its been difficult as well and I was delighted when Mitie did respond.

I wanted to work with companies that I had some kind of relationship with and Mitie also sponsor Army Rugby.  A huge thank you to Phil Bentley, Charlie Antelme, Chris vanMarle and everyone at Mitie for giving me an incredible send off event and for all of your support. I look forward to seeing you when I’m back.

You can see my live location and listen to my audio updates here.

Day 16

Hi everyone. I changed my socks for the first time this morning which was so nice. There was poor visibility all day today. It was a whiteout and you cant see anything around you but white. Somebody else said it was like travelling in a marshmallow which I think was a good way of explaining it. So I end up skiing a lot slower because I cant see where the Sastrugi is and they can get pretty big. I also end up staring a lot harder at my compass just to make sure I’m going in the right direction. I still got good mileage in and still feeling good.

The post goes out to the British Army which has been a big part of my life, I joined the Reserves as a private when I was 19 with minimal education at the time, went onto become a physiotherapist and joined the Regular Army about 6 years ago. I had never been camping before I joined so my first weekend in the field was quite the experience!

I want to say thank you to everyone that saw potential in me and encouraged me along the way. A shout out to 222 Medical Squadron which was my Reserve Unit for about 7 years, 3 Medical Regiment, London PCRF (physio department) and my fellow sisters in the Army, serving and retired for your ongoing support.

And a special thank you to my chain of command, Brig Lizzie Faithfull-Davies and Lt Col Gareth Hattersley.

Thankyou so much all of you. That’s all for tonight.

You can see my live location and listen to my audio updates here.

Day 15

Hi everyone. I had a good day today. It was only a little bit of wind and I got some good mileage in. It’s also a lot easier to put the tent up when its not as windy. I’m sticking to skiing for 90 minutes and taking a 10 minute break after every 90 minutes. Every now and again I have to stop in between as well, especially if I get too hot or to cold. You dont want to sweat because it will freeze, and I dont want any other injuries by getting too cold as well.

I’ve listened to three of Ben Fogle’s books so far. I listened to the last one today. “Up”, “Inspire” and “Race to the Pole”. I love them all and enjoyed listening to the descriptions of Antarctica in race to the pole. I wasn’t too sure about listening to expedition books while I’m here but I’m glad I did listen to it, I felt so invested and got teary eyed when he talks about getting to the pole. I haven’t really thought about how I will feel at the end, I’m just taking it one day at a time.

This post is for anybody that needs to hear this. It can often be those closest to us that hold us back. I am often called a rebel for doing things out of the norm, for pushing my boundaries. For a long time, I stopped telling as many people about the challenges I was doing or I would down play them.

You may not be able to relate to the challenge I am currently on, but I want to tell you it is ok to push your boundaries and I want to encourage you to do so. You can achieve anything you want and it soon becomes addictive, when you start pushing those boundaries. You’ll soon realise what you are capable of, I have (I say sitting in Antarctica..)

I feel like I have my own radio show but can’t see any of the feedback until I finish. So I hope you’re enjoying my journey, tune in tomorrow for more!

You can see my live location and listen to my audio updates here.

Day 14

Hi everyone on day 14 today. So I had a good day today, made it to 83 degrees south which is awesome. Just 7 degrees to go.

Good weather today and great to just look around and appreciate where I am. Strange to think that I haven’t seen any sign of another person for 14 days. I haven’t even started to talk to myself yet.

I had a bit of admin to do in the tent tonight. Things like sewing rips in my liner gloves and I had to put some glue on my half skins as well which were coming off slightly at the end.

This thank you goes to Rhodri from Nordic Life (@nordiclife). Thank you so much for all of your help, not only providing most of my kit but for your advice and answering all of my many questions. And getting my pogies to me just before getting here too. They are perfect! Pogies are basically big gloves that I attach to my ski poles and they’re keeping my hands warm while I’m on the go!

You can see my live location and listen to my audio updates here.

Day 13

Hi everyone, another tough day today. Areas of soft snow made it quite hard work to drag a heavy pulk behind me. So, I knew I would have tough days out here and I have different things to help me along the way. I have voice notes from my friends saved on my phone, I’ve got about about 45 in total and I haven’t listened to any so far. Today I listened to a few of them and it was so great hearing the voices of those closest to me and it perked me right up.

This blog is for an outdoor community, named Love Her Wild (@loveherwilduk). I haven’t delivered many face to face talks about my expedition and the first was to this community. I spent the weekend camping with them, went wild swimming, listened to talks from inspirational women and gave my own talk. It was such a welcoming audience and a weekend I will never forget. Thank you Fiona (@fiona_orrell) for inviting me, Bex (bex_band), and the Love Her Wild community. Check them out they are a pretty amazing group of people.

That’s all for tonight.

You can see my live location and listen to my audio updates here.

Day 12

So tough day today, terrain was icy. I fell over a few times in just the first hour. The first time I fell I was frustrated and then the next few times I laughed it off and got up and kept going. Just taking one step in front of the other. Besides, I cant control the weather or the terrain, I can control how I react to it though. So I focus on what I can control, my mindset. I’m really glad I still did my 11 hours today, the first few hours were the toughest then it actually got easier as the day went along.

This post goes out to my sister-in-law, Sonia who is updating all of my social media so she gets to write this post up. She was in my life way before marrying my brother and I’ve always enjoyed annoying you and I promise to continue to annoy you forever! (just kidding, I’m obviously the annoying one.

I always wanted a big sister growing up and Sonia, when you came into the family I got my wish. Thank you for everything you do, the hours you spend on the phone with me when I’m constantly travelling, the food you cook for me and send me home with and for always being there. See you soon and I’m looking forward to some of your home made apple crumble when I’m back!

That’s all for tonight.

You can see my live location and listen to my audio updates here.

Day 11

Hi everyone, so another 11 hours skied today. Found another never-ending hill. The route is all uphill but some parts are more noticeable than others. It was windy too, about 30-35 miles per hour. A headwind, so I had my hood up with my fur ruff creating a tunnel for my face for protection. Tough day but still good progression.

So, I have written notes on all of my food bags as some motivation for me mainly things that other people have said to me or written on my posts before I left and todays food bag says “you’re a role model to those that were told no”.

So I was told no a lot of the time and I ignored it most of the time. I was more often than not discouraged to push boundaries and was often labelled disrespectful for voicing my opinions. I was labelled the rebel for doing things out of the norm. But I think we create our own normal.

Right now my normal is being on an expedition in Antarctica. Normal can be whatever you want it to be. And surrounding yourself with people that believe in you, I know I’m on my own out here but I also know that there are so many people who believe in me and are supporting me. Thankyou everyone for all of your support and I look forward to reading everyone’s messages when I’m back.

This post is dedicated to Antarctica. Thank you for allowing me to be here. I am and will always be forever grateful.

You can see my live location and listen to my audio updates here.

Day 10

So today felt long, I think it was because this morning was a whiteout, which is where you cant see anything at all. Somebody else described it as “like travelling inside a marshmallow” which I think was a good example. This cleared after a few hours and then visibility was great in the afternoon. 11 hours done, had my days hot chocolate and now I’m ready for bed.

Every ten days, I finish one of my food bags so it is a bit of a milestone. Which made me think of the other big milestones I’ve had this year and haven’t really had a chance to celebrate. So every 10 days, I’m going to celebrate one of them. I’m on day 10 today and I bought my first house this year in May which was pretty exciting. Although it has mainly been a storage place for all of my expedition gear,  it has been nice to call a place my own! I don’t think I even stopped at the time to celebrate that so tonight I’m celebrating with freeze dried meal and a hot chocolate.

You can see my live location and listen to my audio updates here.

Day 9

So I found the terrain slightly harder today. It felt as if the snow was softer, which in turn made it harder to drag the pulk. But I still completed 11 hours which I’m happy with.

Its the 1st December today, I would usually be eating my first chocolate from an advent calendar today and then eating about six more, I never wait. My mum still buys me one every year. Even when I was on an operational tour in South Sudan she still sent my advent calendar. She actually went to the post office and sent it next day delivery thinking it would be there the next day, bless her. It took a few weeks to get to me and I ate it all in one day.

So this blog is dedicated to my brothers. So I’m not wearing any jewellery on the expedition but I do still have my Rakhri on my wrist. Rakhri is a band that traditionally sisters tie on their brothers for their protection and I have been tying this on my brothers since I was a child. This year, for the first time, I asked them to tie the Rakhri on me too. So this goes out to my two big brothers(@jagchandi, @pardeep.chandi), thank you for tying my Rakhris on me. I have that protection with me now too.

And also a reminder to anyone, that it is ok to question or change traditions. I will now ask my brothers to tie a Rakhri on me every year and that will now be our new tradition.

That’s all for tonight.

You can see my live location and listen to my audio updates here.