The Girls Are Nearing Their Goal
Published on 23.12.2009 - Kaspersky Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition
Even if they are not polar adventure pros, the least that can be said is that the girls of the Kaspersky Commonwealth Expedition are managing amazingly well.
Today, no-one any longer doubts today that the girls are going to succeed in getting to the Pole. You just have to look at the schedule to realise that this expedition is being efficiently led and that, even if the protagonists themselves are not adventure professionals, they are under the command of a woman (Felicity Aston) who, one feels, knows the Antarctic inside out. Three years spent studying the ozone hole and climate change on the 6th Continent in the service of the illustrious British Antarctic Survey can only leave their mark. Furthermore, when we asked her before they set off whether the fact of having already worked in the Antarctic was going to be of any use to her with regard to this expedition, she answered: "Yes, most certainly, during these last three years in the service of the BAS, I learnt two hyper important things. One: never to be afraid of the cold. And two: always to be ready for the worst-case scenario..."
Result: the girls are now less than 100 miles from the Pole. Let's have a recap of their schedule: On 21 December, they did 26 km, on 20 December, 18 km, on 19 December, 29 km, on 18 December, 28 km, on 17 December, 28 km, on 16 December, 30 km, on 15 December, 25 km, etc. In short, an amazing regularity of effort which has meant that by 22 December, the group had covered 712 km.
Obviously, as Era of the Sultanate of Brunei wrote on 22 December, the last days are going to be the hardest. Because on the one hand, the cold gets far more intense (altitude) and on the other, there's a greater risk of injury (tiredness). The terrain for its part is also far worse because of the presence of high sastrugi fields.
But the Expedition Leader knows what she's doing. When the girls are too tired, or too stressed, she lets the day be shorter and they set up camp earlier. Knowing full well that, on the one hand, Christmas is coming to boost the troops' morale, and that, on the other, the distance between them and their goal is no longer that great.