Not much further for Mark to climb

Published on 22.12.2008 - SoloAntarctica

When you consider the number of times that Mark Langridge mentions altitude, you'd have to think that it is pretty important to him.

Altitude is one of the parameters that polar travellers and would-be explorers don't mention much in their daily updates. Yet it should be remembered that when you set out from the Antarctic coastline, from a place called Hercules Inlet, you are at altitude zero. After that, you have some 1 100 kilometres to cover before you reach an altitude of 9 300 feet, which is about 3 000 metres.

Some trekkers appear to suffer more from the altitude than others. And the story goes that when you fly directly to the South Pole by plane, the thin air and lack of oxygen make your head spin and it usually takes a good few hours to become acclimatised.

Where Mark Langridge is concerned, it would appear that he has found the gentle climb up towards the South Pole more than a little difficult. In fact he has talked about it so much along the way that the first thing he mentions in his updates when he is reporting the statistics about his progress is the different in altitude reached that day, compared with the day before.

In any event, by 18th December, he had reached an altitude of 8 672 feet, or 2 643 metres, and was saying that he now didn't have much more to climb to reach the South Pole.

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