With 42 km to go, Fairbank can feel the South Pole

Published on 26.12.2011 - The South Pole : Solo but not Alone

Howard Fairbank doesn't regret at all to be there alone on this ice immensity. In fact, if we go back to his 'Solo but not Alone', this concept takes here his entire meaning.

It brought tears into his eyes...

Why ? Because it was Christmas Eve and that day, the 52 years old adventurer has decided to have a special evening after a good 8 hours kite, doing nothing...

Excerpts ( 26 December) : "... I say doing 'nothing', but what I did was so overwhelming it brought tears to my eyes: Firstly, I got nice and comfortable in my tent 'armchair' (yes, I have one, an indispensable item!) put my Father Christmas hat on, and then downloaded the past 3-4 days of your comments that Dominique kindly sent through on her Christmas day.... Well, guys, as I say I was overwhelmed, so much so I shouted out with joy: "This is JUST bloody incredible...Very, very SPECIAL" From all over the world too.... I'm truly lucky, and can't say how the blog and level of interaction has taken 'Solo but NOT Alone' to a level I could never have dreamed....Thanks for being such a key part of my amazing experience! ..."

Back to the philosophy

On 25 December, he had a marvelllous day because for the first time on this expedition he could remove his head and face gear... Quite a strange feeling! He also was able to take his ski goggles off, as they were fogging up in the warmth, and replaced them with sunglasses, so almost looked like a tourist!

But that was all. Because, within hours things changed as the cloud caught up with him, and visibility dropped to almost zero, but with the 5hr mark (half day) showing 19.5km, there was no ways he was not having a 'big day' that day.

On 24 December, Fairbank cound not resist to the temptation to go back to the philosophical thread : this time it concerns the belonging and the ID in the context of managing one's life for maximum freedom. As it takes more than two pages, we can not do anything else but to invite our visitors to open Fairbank's diary at this date.

" It was as if a whole ice building was collapsing..."

Finally let's Fairbank describe a special cross over a zone of rumbling ice (24 December) : "... I spoke about the ice occasionally rumbling as 'we' cross over it, well today I had a real big one: it was as if a whole ice building was collapsing underneath 'us'. The noise like a pack of structures falling went on for seconds, and I was fully expecting to see cracks all around, but nope, nothing, it's all under the surface. Maybe it's not as serious as it sounds, but from the sound of things there must be a significant cavity somewhere below. I did imagine skiing along and we sort of 'detonate' a large area of collapse that just consumes me, the sled and nothing more heard! I guess the fact this isn't supposed to be a crevasse area; I've never seen surface cracks when this happens; and it hasn't happened to others before me, allows me to pushing it off the fear list..."

 

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