First up, The Shackleton Centenary Team has put the Beardmore Glacier behind them and are now back on their skis and steaming towards the South Pole. They have climbed more than 1500 feet today, covering 13.3nm and now stand atop the Shackleton Ice Falls. The team struggled across the glacier thanks to their aluminum crampons now being up to the task on the ice, but that struggle helped them to appreciate what their namesake expedition experienced a century ago. They are also the first team to enter and exit the Beardmore along this route in 100 years as well.
The South Pole Quest Team are still making good time, despite the fact that team member Ray Zahab somehow managed to contract food poisoning a few days back. Despite that, they still covered more than 18 nautical miles, and have now passed 85 degrees south, and have the Thiel Mountains to the west. Todays question for the team comes from a teacher, who asks: “How and where are you going to the bathroom?” The delicate audio answer is here.
The Team from Finland is making it’s final push today, having ended yesterday with just 50km to go before they reached the Pole. Their intention is to be at their goal before the end of Christmas Eve, and they are very much looking forward to celebrating the holiday with others. They note that at this point of the journey, the lack of sleep is the biggest challenge. The snow and winds make it difficult to sleep at night, and after weeks on the trail they are quite exhausted. They’ll get rest soon however.
Finally, Mike Horn posts holiday greetings on his dispatch today. He is spending Christmas alone on the ice, but wants to send his seasons greetings and best wishes for a “joyous and adventurous New Year”. We should all be so lucky!
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