The rest of the trip hinges upon a ski tip…

Published on 08.12.2011 - South Pole Solo

Mark George is not a handyman. He hasn't taken with him a spare pair of skis either. And besides, one of his ski tip is seriously damaged.

"OK mister ski, I will try to fix you..."

Every expeditioner has his own way to describe in detail (or not) what has happened during the day. We have said already in our previous updates that one of the best storyteller amongts the well known polar adventurers was (according to us) Sebastian Copeland (he is the only expeditioner for instance who makes a distinction in his updates between the dates of the writing and putting on line and the dates related to the information he deals with) ; we find that American Eric Larsen is quite talented too.

With Aussie Mark 'Georgie' George, we have another kind of storyteller : he dissects all his doings of the day, and sometimes, he does not hesitate to get a rise out of himself. In such an adventure, one expects that the protagonists are handymen -it's a must when you undertake this kind of trip. Well : Wood is not. 

On 8 December, he writes : "...For those who know me, fixing things isn’t my specialty. I am much better at making things. Normally I go to a shop and buy another one or ask them to fix it but not out here, all the shops seem to be closed.  So for the first time in my life I am going to try and mix poxy paste together and use this on my ski tip. I can see the headline now “man, tent and ski airlifted out of Antarctica unable to be separated!” Ok Mister ski I will try to fix you. This fails you’re about to get a bolt stuck through you and that will hurt a lot more. ..."

The previous day, he had sort of gone mad about the 'That's on, That's off', the way an expeditioner has to do every day the same moves on and on. "So all day its ….. layers on, layers on layers off layers on layer off …. nose starts freezing adjust your scarf, chin starts freezing move your second jacket up to cover it,  your little fingers start freezing you stop and thaw out, change gloves and change head gear, zips up, zips down, zips up, zips down and down,  every day you make over 100 adjustments to your gear..."

Here are his latest stats (on the ice since 26 November) :

  • December 5 / Camp:  South 81- 23.640  west 79- 40.398 / Distance:  8.7 nautical miles (16.11km) / Time:  8.5 hours / Weather:   beautiful, great for snow play, horrible for sleds.
  • December 6 / Camp:  81°34’9” South 79°34’269” West / distance: 11.6 nautical miles (21.5 km) / Time:  9.5 hours and worked hard today /Weather:  crystal clear, light wind / Snow:  better in parts, but still tough, went up two big hills today.
  • December 7 / Camp:  81° 47’ 630” South 79° 36’ 976” West / Distance: 12.7 nautical miles (23.5 km) / Time:  9.5 hours / Weather:  overcast with sunny breaks, 5 knot winds /Snow:  a little better.
  • December 8 / Camp:  82° 00’ 825” South (yeah 8 more degrees to go!!)  79° 34’ 934” West / Distance: 13.2 nautical miles (24.4 km) / Time:  9.5 hours / Weather:   10-15 knot winds / Snow:  boggy for first 3 hours in the morning then got a bit better.
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