South Pole Expedition Pushes Past 86.5 Degrees
On Friday 12th November, Adam Wilton and Gavin Booth passed the 86.5 degree line on their way to the South Pole. Adam and Gavin have been walking across the Antarctic for nearly five weeks now. They estimate that they will reach the South Pole on New Year’s Day.
With the snow softer and sastrugi less extreme, they have been able to ski instead of walk. This has meant using different muscles and has given a much needed rest to the muscles that are used for walking. They are pulling all of their expedition gear, including their tent and their food, on sleds without any help from dogs or snow-mobiles.
They are both in good spirits as they climb up to the polar plateaux.
We are celebrating every degree now with some extra food..on monday we had half a cake each (which was the size of a brick).
Food for Thought and Snow for Dinner
Adam and Gavin have provided their daily routine on their live update website, which I have reproduced below.
Whilst you are all gearing up for the Christmas party season, spare a thought for us …
7.15am -wake and reluctantly get ready.
Eat breakfast, do personal duties, sort kit and take down camp.
before 9.30am be on the move, starting our day’s man hauling.
No day is easy, in fact they are all very hard. We do a 10hr shift, with breaks every hour..for water and a bit of food. but not long enough to get too cold (it is still -20C before wind chill). For the last 2hrs we have a 1minute break at the half hour-so we can push on. At the end we are both exhausted and another step not possible. The sled weight may be reducing as we eat our rations, but the fatigue in legs gets worse. Even if we are both incredibly tired at 6hrs and bored of the white white white landscape, we always push on for the full day, things can get better.. After finishing, we then have to set up camp. It could be very windy.
7.30pm Get tent up and kit from sleds into tent by 8.
8.00pm call Patriot Hills with our position.
8.30pm one of us will start to melt snow in the vestibule. This will take up to 2hrs for all our water. The snow is incredibly dry. The other will have the chance to repair any equipment or himself! and perhaps call home or post a dispatch. During this time we will both start to eat (first meal-we are now eating 2, as we have a hard week of altitude gain) and rehydrate.
10.30pm water finished, and by 11pm time for second meal.
11pm record our expedition video diary, reflect on the day.
12am to sleep..although this will be broken up, as we will wake a number of times no matter how tired. it is hot in tent at night in down sleeping bags, and bright with 24hr sun. We are both suffering from lack of proper sleep.
The next day we do it all again…for 50 days. This is what we have to do to make it. No matter how tired or how cold. A test of mind, body and soul.
Shopping Centre or South Pole?
Where would you rather be? Your local shopping centre, battling the crowds trying to find those perfect Christmas presents…
…or the South Pole, freezing cold with only your expedition partner to get on your nerves? Click on the “comments” link below and let us know!
Adam was born in London and 30 years old. He works as an investment banker at Kaupthing Bank in London.
Adam’s previous expeditions and challenges include:
Marathon of Britain 2005 (52 miles, 2 days)
Marathon des Sables 2004 (140 miles)
Guadarun, Guadeloupe 2005 (80 miles)
Mont Blanc Ultra 2005 (100 miles non-stop)
Greenland Expedition 2007 (8 first ascents; >200 km ice cap travel)
World Long Course Duathlon Championships 2008.
Adam and Gavin are hoping to raise £250,000 to help save Robert Falcon Scott’s hut.