For 3 days as I push towards the South Pole I have been doing fuel and food calculations, evaluating worst case scenarios and trying to make a good call. I’ve suffered the loss of 3 fuel bottles through leakage or rupture within the sleds. The terrible cold combined with sastrugi punishment cost me early on in the journey.
Initially I was staying pig-headed-positive, but I began to realise if I ploughed on without doing the math I could get into trouble.
Out here, fuel = water and warmth. No fuel = dehydration, hypothermia and worse, so I have to consider carefully. It’s a close call, I’ve got plenty left to get my by, however, my redundancy supply is the one under threat. If all goes well, there won’t be any need for the extra margin we’ve factored in – however, the South Pole is renowned for periods of windless-ness, which I can’t afford to risk. (Particularly maintaining my unsupported status.)
Reaching The South Pole if of less importance to me than my primary objectives. I’ve be been there, on my previous expedition and it is not central to the expedition goals.
What is of most importance to me is;
- Self Sufficiency (Solo, Unsupported)
- Fist Aussie to POI (Check)
- First Human to ascend Dome Argus solo, unsupported.
- The Longest Solo, Unsupported Polar Journey. Period.
So tomorrow, with agreement from the Russian Support Team – I head for The Dome. “The Dome” it even sounds daunting (Feels a bit like Frodo Baggins making his way to Mordor!) It is virgin ice, from here on in and it is genuinely evolving into a voyage of exploration.
I’m excited to carry on, yet mindful, watchful and cautious in all I do.
To the Dome!