The Journey

At 6ft 5 inches tall, I'll be perfectly honest and say the part that concerns me most about this journey isn't the crevasse fields that welcome you immediately after you depart Hercules Inlet, or the relentless winds of the upper Antarctic plateau, but actually how my legs are going to survive when the person in front of me inevitably puts their seat back for the duration of the 20 hour journey from London to Punta Arenas. 

Once in Punta Arenas it will be a waiting game for a weather window to open up long enough for us to jump on board a monstrous Ilyushin IL-76 transport plane, which will drop us at Union Glacier.  The waiting will begin again for a last trip in a small twin otter plane that will take me to the start point at Hercules Inlet, this is where the sea ice meets the land mass of Antarctica, from then on,  it's just 1100 short kilometres to the Pole.

The first days of my journey will be amongst the most dangerous, the ice outside of Hercules inlet is riddled with crevasse fields which are disguised by a sometimes perilously thin layer of snow hiding the horrors beneath. 

Travelling solo means I will be without the safety of being roped up to a teammate who can halt my fall. My skis will spread my weight across the ice, which will help protect me from breaking through the surface. The unpredictable weather in Antarctica can result in white outs for days and even weeks at a time, this makes detecting the crevasses almost completely impossible and my only way of navigating will be following a compass mounted to my chest. 

Having (hopefully) managed to sneak past the crevasses I'll ski in blocks of two hours at a time for 10 hours a day. During that time I can hope to travel up to 25 miles a day in perfect conditions, unfortunately for me the 200mph winds in Antarctica have left their mark on the landscape and carved rigid Sastrugi into the ice which can slow me down to just a few miles a day. 

The weather reigns supreme at the bottom of the world so I will truly be at the mercy of mother nature. Trudging the 1100km and gaining 3000m in elevation, the equivalent of 100 eiffel towers, can take anything from 30-60+ days but fingers crossed (if they haven't frozen off), I'll make it to the pole in under 45 days. I'll be updating my blog live from the ice along with instagram so make sure you sling a follow to @antarctic_gurkha to most likely see all sorts of pictures of me in utter turmoil.