A big day

We woke up this morning and the sun was shining with all its glory without a cloud or any haze stopping us feel her full effect. The temperature was -31 degrees C but funnily enough if there is no wind you don’t feel it, but as soon as there is the slightest breeze it’s a different story all together and any piece of skin exposed to that breeze starts to hurt very quickly, but today it was completely calm, almost what you could consider the perfect day, it was marvelous.

We set off on our ski at 10:34 am this morning and our target was to cover 15km which we expected to take 8 hours, after the first ten minutes everyone in the group started to fidget uncomfortably so we stopped so we could all remove layers of clothing because we started to overheat.

We got into a great rhythm, our pace increased to 3 km/h and our hourly stops were down to under ten and we made great time. Everyone in the group was feeling good and we completed the 15km with stops in 6 hours:-) note that it took us 6 hours to complete 10km on the first day, so we did 50% more in the same amount of time, spirits are running high and everyone is feeling great.

In my last dispatch I was complaining about looking at the same picture for hours and how boring it gets, well that was a bit of a lie because on the first day my goggles had fogged up then frozen, then I put on my back-up pair which also fogged then froze at which point I gave up on seeing and just followed the hazy blob in front of me. On the second day I wore sunglasses with no face protection so I had to put on my hood and look down to protect my face so all I saw were the back of the skis of the guy in front of me, but today I really managed to look around and yes it is all the same and no it doesn’t change but it is an absolutely magnificent sight, so endless and beautiful, so pristine it’s amazing, I got goose bumps just staring at the horizon today, it was incredible.

Our target was to reach the pole by the Dec 7 but we had two delays so achieving the 7th is going to mean doing 20km per day for the next 4 days which will be tough. We have decided to take it one day at a time and see how the team feel and what the weather is like. So as it stands our goal for tomorrow is 20km if the weather is good, which means no or little wind, otherwise it will be 15km. Let’s pray for good weather.


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5 Responses to A big day

  1. Samar says:

    ‘…but it is an absolutely magnificent sight, so endless and beautiful, so pristine it’s amazing, I got goose bumps just staring at the horizon today, it was incredible…’

    So ironic you should mention goosebumps in Antartica … 🙂 Keep up the great exercise in self-determination, deprivation and contemplation guys!

  2. James Butterfill says:

    Great reading your comments Haytham, sounds amazing and I wish I was there! Good luck for the rest of your ski. Butty

  3. T4 says:

    Way to go guys . Keep it up we are all cheering very hard;-)

  4. sultana says:

    Finally a picture I can save on my blackberry, I am assuming the man in the middle looking like the abominable snowman is Sh. WYZ 🙂

    Mashallah you all seem to have found a good rhythm, impressive how you increased your pace overnight. Inshallah tomorrow you will get good weather and increase that pace a little more. God speed; Will you might end up blowing that big candle before you reach the Pole!

    FMA told me to tell you that he has been following your progress daily, he sends you all his love, he said to tell you he is “technologically impaired” and therefore cannot send you his comments. He is praying for your safety.

    Allah ma3akum, keep up the great writing kiddo.
    Love you

  5. Amr says:

    We shall continue to pray for good weather and for your safe success. Haytham, Masha’Allah, you are such a good writer. Keep those dispatches coming and give our absolute warmest regards to everyone.

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