Good evening everybody, this is Ollie Stoten bringing you the update on day 65 of the SPEAR17 expedition. We had a mixed day today, we had good weather, there some high level cloud and low wind and the temperatures were great, they were in the minus teen, -10 to -15, which is really nice, such a nice change from the last few weeks. It’s a right old treat! But we had hugely difficult ground to cover today. Each time we think we’re out of the woods, the Great White Queen throws another curve ball at us. It was definitely the case today. We kept on coming into these areas of disturbed glacial ice. You’ve got this really close crevassing with rock hard plated ice in between. Sections we’re alternating every 30-50cm, making it really difficult to travel on, let alone with the pulks swinging round and bashing your legs and trying to take you out or dropping down these gaps and getting wedged in them as well. It makes it really difficult to make any progress. I took a couple of nasty tumbles as well, the pulk pulled me off my feet after it got carried away in this crevassing and the rock hard blue ice is unforgiving to land on and left me limping for a good while after. I took some serious pain relief to start making some half decent speed again.
However, the scenery is absolutely phenomenal. And it’s incredible knowing that we’re pretty much the only people on this side of the continent. We also spent the evening searching for snow, which seems crazy given that we’ve been surrounded by it for the last two and a half months. But now down in the glacier, trying to find a tiny patch to camp on is really difficult. We managed to make 14.9 nautical miles, which is less than we hoped for but it was really good given how hard the terrain was today. Antarctica is not letting us off lightly.
We’re just over 30 miles now from the Ross Ice Shelf, the point that marks the end of our foot traverse of Antarctica, and we’re hoping to cover this over the next two days. This means this will likely be my last audio blog. I said a while back that this journey would bring incredible highs and punishing lows, and it certainly has. I’ve been very lucky to be given this opportunity to do this expedition for the British Army, and I’d like to thank all of our sponsors for making it happen. I also want to thank all of you, our listeners and followers, and everyone who’s sent in messages of support. We all truly hugely appreciate it. Of course I’m looking forward to getting home to my family and friends and home comforts, and of course back to running. I will miss this expedition and this team, I couldn’t have asked for a better team to do the traverse with. All we need to do now is crack these final 30-odd miles to the Ross Ice Shelf to finish the traverse. Onwards.