The final push is in sight

Published on 07.04.2010 - Richard Weber North Pole Expedition

Although they are now reporting back on how tough it has been and the minor ailments they are suffering from (they have been out on the pack-ice for 35 days now), the team is doing everything it can to make it to the final push as soon as possible.

It is, of course, the fiftysomething member of the expedition, Howard Fairbank, who is providing us with all this information – and we wonder how this 52-year-old manages to write so many lines in the blog. "As we gradually extend the number of hours we are on the move, the aches and pains are beginning to make themselves felt more," he wrote on 1st April. "We're using more painkillers, it's getting harder to wake up each day, we're talking less to one another and there are fewer exchanges as we go, we are all increasingly eager to reach the break times during the day, some of us are even catnapping during these breaks and everyone is thinking of the best way to make his sledge and backpack lighter... In fact, this is becoming the toughest period of our whole adventure (midway through). Because the distance we have just covered all has to be done again before we get there..."

But for all that and although the pain is beginning to set in, Weber and his men are doing everything they can each day to push their creaking machines (i.e. their body) to go faster and cover more kilometres – and to do so even though they are now virtually certain of their trek being a success and so there's no need to break their necks. They are now walking/skiing 10 hours a day instead of the previous 8 hours. They only take four 10-minute breaks during the day, beginning with an initial stint of three hours before the first break. After that, they cut their time on the move by half an hour after each break. This is enabling them to average a good twenty kilometres a day. Just to add to the mix, the negative drift may be 'almost' a thing of the past, but the blizzards are now beginning to blow...

The men reckon that they should reach the North Pole in about a week or possible a little more.

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