It was amazing to have some Christmas pudding and whiskey last night, both were delicious and it was so nice to eat and drink something different to our usual routine food!

Today the sastrugi continued much as before, though we did have a good smooth surface for about an hour in the middle of the day. It didn’t last long though and we were back into fiercely rough sastrugi soon enough as a ground fog descended onto the ice for the last few hours of the day.

We knew this route had a reputation for bad sastrugi and it seems, from talking to other expeditions around Antarctica, that this is a particularly bad sastrugi year after some big winter storms, so no wonder they’re so bad here. It does mean we’re working incredibly hard each day to do a fairly modest distance, finishing our days knackered and frustrated. It’s likely we’ll be in sastrugi territory for at least another six days so there is nothing for it but to get our heads down and get through it.

Another repair job this evening, Gareth had to pull so hard to get his sled over a ridge today he snapped the bungee elastic in his traces, a testament to the roughness of the terrain (and Gareth’s horse-like strength of course!).

Suunto Stats

Skiing Time 9h 26mins

Distance 22.29kms


Average HR 113

Max HR 169

Calories burned 6280


Average HR 111

Max HR 160

Calories burned 6020