300 hours of sunshine

Published on 18.12.2008 - Finnish South Pole Expedition 2008

The Finns were incredibly lucky to have such fine weather for so long. They have also made great progress and are now only about 200 kilometres from the Pole.

But since bad weather returned to their route, Karis Poppis Suomela and Pasi Ikonen have begun tackling the hardest part of their adventure. This is because even though they can now envisage making it to the South Pole without any problem, they have reached the point in their trek where little niggly problems are starting to creep in. Technical problems with their ski gear, zips that won't close properly, the beginnings of hunger pangs at a time when they can't allow themselves any leeway, a new type of tiredness that is not the same as it was at the beginning of their journey and which hangs heavily on them when they crawl into their tent in the evening. "We can feel the hunger gnawing at our stomachs in the evening in the tent," writes Ikonen, "and we scrape out the tiniest amounts of food left in the pans, which we weren't doing before. And we are still hungry almost all the time. We are currently eating 6500 Kcal a day..."

Despite that, the updates sent back by the two Finns continue to be as carefully produced and interesting as before. You can feel that they have a sense of duty in responding to all of the schoolchildren (as well as all the other visitors) who send them e-mails every day asking questions ranging from the food they eat to the way they are covering the icecap, as well as what they do in their spare time, the way they keep going in the right direction, their clothes, etc.

Karis Poppis Suomela and Pasi Ikonen continue to cover a good thirty kilometres or so every day. On 16th December, they progressed another 30.1 km – leaving them just 249.8 km from the Pole!

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