Mark George : half way mark

Published on 22.12.2011 - South Pole Solo

Mark George says that the accumulated snow dumped on his route has slowed him down quite a lot : he should have reached the half way mark a lot earlier in the trek.

From now on,  the odometer is  clicking down

Nevertheless, Mark George is happy to have reached that point. On 21 December, he writes : "... I have arrived in pretty good shape apart from the wear and tear you would expect from skiing 10 hours a day 26 days in a row. It is a huge psychological boost to have the odometer clicking down from here. ... Mentally I am doing just fine.  My friend Ben, the giant tree frog that joins me for tea and biscuits every night and also acts as my psychologist, just mentioned to me how well I was holding up."

Once in a while the expeditioners take time to describe in detail their doings during the day and how they organizes their time -what time they get up, how long it takes to be ready and start skiing, how often they stop during the progression, what food do they eat when making a break, how long they stay awake in the tent before going to bed, etc. 

A day in a life

So far we haven't had a lot of theses write-ups since the beginning of our antarctic season -even if we have already seen the pees and the poos. On 19 December, we have one story well narrated by Mark George. Here it is : "... I usually get up around 6-6.15am, light the stove to boil water for my porridge and top up my water bottles. I leave the tent around 7am to pack up my sled, put the tent down, toilet stop etc."

"I am normally skiing by around 8am. I have my first snack/break around 10am.  It is a quick drink and snack usually lasting about 3 minutes before I start freezing as I am standing still. Then I have another break around 11.30am."

"I stop for a lunch break around 1pm for 30 minutes. I put on my down jacket for this, sit in my sled and put a bothy over my head to try and shield me from the wind.  Then I am off again and it usually takes me awhile to warm up, especially fingers which start freezing when you stop."

"I have another quick break at 3pm, then 4.30pm and start looking for a campsite around 6pm.  Then I set up camp, which means often building a snow wall to protect the tent from the winds.  Then I am usually in my tent around 7pm and start setting up the stove, boil water for dinner, call into ALE, call into home, do my blog, attend to my feet, then any repairs I need to do for the next day."

So it is pretty much 7-7 in or out of the tent every day. I saw Thiel mountain range this afternoon which is the first thing I have seen for some time."


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