L O U ' S D I A R Y
After leaving Union Glacier and setting out from Messner, Lou completes his first day in the frost-flaked fingers of the Great White Queen.
Nov 3 2018 –
Good evening everyone,
This is Lou Rudd, with the first proper blog of the expedition. So I’ve been held for the last couple of days in Union Glacier due to low cloud over the start point and the plane being unable to get in. But I’m really pleased to say that, just after lunchtime here in Antarctica today, we got the thumbs up – myself and Colin, the American who’s attempting the same journey at the same time, boarded the Twin Otter aircraft for the just under two-hour flight, out to our chosen start point on the edge of the continent, on the Ronne Ice Shelf.
The plane successfully landed and Colin got out first with his equipment and the plane taxied laterally across so we’re both going the same distance, a mile and a half and then dropped me, so that we’re separated right at the beginning.
Really surreal moment to be stood there after all this time; planning preparing, training. To be finally at the start point was an incredible moment, and I owe so much to so many people, helping me to get to this point. So then I said farewell to the pilot and the plane taxied, and I just stood and watched it disappear into a little black speck in the distance. And then complete silence. It really was a deafening silence and it was really eerie.
I quickly sorted myself out. It was about -25 but the sun was shining and very light winds. I got my bearing loaded on my compass and off I went. After a couple of hours of myself and Colin both heading for the same initial waypoint, spotted Colin off to the flank. I think he’s camped slightly earlier than me this evening and I managed to push on till 7 o’clock, and I’ve managed 4 nautical miles. [1 nautical mile = 1.1508 miles]
Really tough going - the weight of the pulk is just incredibly heavy. But I knew this would be the case with the amount of food and equipment I’ve got in there. And it really was slow going, with a bit of an incline as you climb from the Ronne Ice Shelf up onto the continent itself. So a tough first half day, but successfully camped now and I’ve just had chicken tikka with rice, my first meal here in the tent. I just been writing my diary, and then getting some much-needed sleep and preparing myself for my first full day tomorrow. And things can hopefully only get a little bit easier as the pulk gets lighter as I eat my way through my burden.
But really over the moon to have finally started this expedition.
I look forward to updating you all every evening on my progress. That’s all for tonight.