Martin’s Birthday – Day 18 of SPEC

The sun was out today for Martin’s birthday. He is such an incredible human being. He is originally from North Wales, in the UK but moved with his family to Colorado. He leaves a little 3 month old son Elliot at home, to come here for 60 days and support Dad and I. Truly impressive. Over the past 16 years, he has been leading expeditions all over the world and a side bar (ha-ha) …has climbed all 7 summits (the highest peak on each of the seven continents)

When home, he is usually found rock or ice climbing at weekends or enjoying time on a mountain bike. He currently teaches courses in rope Access, Tower Climbing/Fall Protection, PPE and several other types of rescue techniques. During his time in the USA, he has volunteered as a firefighter for 3 years and spent the last 4 years volunteering in SAR Alpine Rescue Team. Safety is very important to Martin and he has a passion for protecting the landscapes he continues to share and explore.

Today, the snow is soft and powdery due to the high temperature of -15° C. We were slower today. I think the later start, shorter day and a lot more food yesterday was the culprit.

Dad, in particular was lagging behind. I am so proud of him taking on this expedition at 61 years of age!! I know the stress and effort on my young 23 year old body. So while you are sitting down to a hot meal and relaxing in front of the TV…. He has another 350nm to ski to the South Pole. He is young at heart and fit but there comes a time (I imagine) when your body just takes longer to get things done. He is sleeping here in the tent now. Though I am not sure how as he snores like a freight train! He is trying hard to keep up with us during the day, but we must keep moving or frostbite will set in.

Our water and food breaks are about 15 mins each and very quickly I start to get cold, then freeze before even 10 minutes of stopping. So Dad understands we are must keep going. We continually check on him and he does have the luxury of arriving into camp about 30 minutes behind us and everything is set up and the water boiling and ready to add to the dehydrated food. Mmmm maybe there is a pattern here…ha-ha

In the western hemisphere, you will be enjoying shorter days. When dusk starts around 6pm. We have the luxury of 24 hours of daylight which confuses the body clock as to when we sleep and when we rise. At the South Pole they have 6 months of 24 hours daylight. Then one day to the next they have 6 months of 24 hours of darkness…wow that has to be seen.

Well, I will climb into my sleeping bag and eat some hot food and get my body some down time until tomorrow.