Enforced rest day

I suppose it had to happen sooner or later but it’s such a shame that it happened now when we were doing so well and we were so close to the finish line… While I was writing my dispatch last night the “evil demon” (the wind) seemed to be getting stronger and stronger, I got concerned when our guide came round our tents while we were in them to make sure we strapped down properly so we didn’t blow away. I woke up at 3 am and it was still howling, knowing full well that we could not move if it persisted. Sure enough by 8:00 this morning we were told that it was blowing too hard and we had to wait for it to abate before we could start moving again which was a huge disappointment, really so unbelievably frustrating, imagine I was expecting to wake up this morning and say, we’ll be at the pole tomorrow night and out of here finally. Even if we can’t get off Antarctica early, just getting back to Union Glacier would be a huge relief, it’s like Club Med over there compared to here, at only -15 degrees C I’m fully planning on sunbathing in my shorts when I get there. I’m even going to try to bribe one of the staff to give me their weekly shower quota. I suppose there could be a positive side to this though, giving my blisters a rest would be one, I have four blisters and one I named Antarctica because of its size, it’s about 5 cm long by 2.5 cm wide and blown with fluid to just over a centimeter above the surface, really quite impressive. The good doctor Jeff did a small procedure on it yesterday and it held up quite well through out the day but I was secretly worried not knowing if I could do another two 20km days back to back on it.

It’s 2:15 pm at the moment and it’s still blowing bananas outside, but Baba made the call that if it stops blowing by midnight we set off (remember the sun never sets here it doesn’t even get darker). Currently the weather conditions are as follows, temperature – 31 degrees C, wind between 16 to 20 knots, temperature with wind chill -49 degrees C, basically cold beyond my capable description. As it stands this will set us back one day, the forecast says that it should let up by 8 am tomorrow morning, let’s pray it does.


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15 Responses to Enforced rest day

  1. Hamza says:

    Happy Birthday Pops!!! Wishing you many more happy birthdays. I dont know how you’re going to top this one, but knowing you I’m sure it will be along the lines of playing golf in sunny Barbados……unless MWZ tries to convice you to do something as hair raisin as this.

    We trust that the forced rest day has re charged your batteries, and that you made solid ground today.

    Steller efforts by all!


  2. HISHAM ALREZA says:


    0-60 means put it in the right gear and floor the pedal to shave off the split seconds,but you decided before you hit 60 life is not measured by the seconds that eclipse but the challenges we undertake.
    May the challege you set to journey to the bottom of the Earth strengthen you spiritually and physically to meet the challenges of the many decades to come after 60. And may your deeds be always pleasing to Him.
    Happy Birthday Captain Courage!

    Godspeed Home

    Fondest salaams to you and your brave ones

    H and Family

  3. Greg Noonan says:

    Happy Birthday Waleed!

    We been have checking the website nearly hourly with such excitement, curiosity and relief that you are for the most part, right on schedule. The updates have been so informative and well written…great job Hatham. Of all the people I’ve known in my life you are on the top of the list as the most adventurous, courageous and macho, among many other fine virtues.

    Just in case you have wondered what it would have been like if you had spent your 60th in La Jolla, it’s sunny, clear blue sky at about +68 degrees Fahrenheit. We wish you were here to share a nice birthday dinner on George’s top deck. I was in New York this weekend, attended services at St Patrick’s and said many special prayers for your safe return.
    Love, Greg & Marilyn Noonan

  4. RWZ says:

    Happy 60th Birthday!! What an epic gift it is that you get to spend it Mashallah at your fittest trekking through Nature’s worst and yet most beautiful conditions!!!
    I miss you lots and I am waiting for you here at home in your chair.
    Love you Baba xxx
    Kisses and Hugs to the Big Bros

  5. Talal Idriss says:

    wilis you put us all to shame .happy birthday. please teach the younger generation a trick or two in survival

  6. RET says:

    Happy birthday, Waleed!

    I hope you’ve found a way to enjoy the day while you wait out the wind. If its any consolation, Shackleton’s Christmas lunch (1915) consisted of stale thin bannock and a mug of cocoa.

    All my best,

  7. Noah Alireza says:

    Dear a/W,
    Happy Birthday and here is to your 60 mile journey to the 90th and beyond!
    Dear All,
    We continue read, pray and wish you all the best in this great adventure.
    With Love,
    Noah + Lema + Timo & Amin

  8. Sultana says:


    Is that a coincidence Will? Your 60th birthday falling on the first day of 1432 🙂

    Thinking of you today, hoping that the wind abated and you are back on the trail again. Everyone here is reading the dispatches, sadly many people have not figured out that they can send you comments or do not know how to do it! But so many people are following your incredible journey and are rooting for you.

    The worst is over inshallah, so little left, Bon Courage Messieurs que le Bon Dieu vous protege.

    With so much love and admiration

  9. MYZ says:

    Dear Waleed,

    Our best wishes to you on this very special day for your 60th Birthday. May you live a long, happy, and healthy life to celebrate many more, in similar style. However, you will have a hard time to top this one!

    Best of wishes for a safe return, and we can’t wait to hear your story first-hand. (We are following the daily logs with rapturous attention)

    All our Love,

    Moh’d & Debby

  10. Zayd says:

    Amo Waleed,

    Happy birthday and what an achievement to be in the process of making during this landmark day!

    Amo W, H1, and MWZ,

    It has been great following the well written posts of your trip, we can almost feel your pain! What an experience and I look forward to hearing all about it on your return.

    Lots of Love,


  11. Stephen says:

    Many happy returns Sheikh Waleed!

  12. Asaad Zahid says:

    First of all, I’d like to wish Ammo Waleed a Happy 60th Birthday!

    Also, today is the Hijri New Year 1432! I’d like to say “Kul Aam wa antum bikhair” to everyone!

    Hope you will all reach your target very soon and all the best and warm wishes!



  13. Nabeel Zahid says:

    Dear brother Waleed,

    Happy birthday, bro! What an amazing adventure and what a place to spend your 60th! Although, I’m sure, this enforced rest day is disappointing, it’s also a break well deserved. Take it easy on Haytham & Mohamed!

    Love to all and stay safe (and warm!)


  14. Dear Waleed,

    Happy Birthday! Since you don’t know the difference between day and night and the difference between a 60 and a 30 years old, I doubt if you remember that you have your son’s father in law and a cousin called KAA wishing you the best for your birthday and for your success to reach the bottom of the world! My warmest to Haitham and Mohamed and the rest of your party.

    PS: I like you to remember that the old Islamic maps had South as top of the world, so how does it feel to be on the top of the world! My memory of you all my life is that you always wanted to be on top!

  15. yousuf Z says:

    Happy B Day Ammo Waleed, what a way to spend it

    HWZ I can’t believe I missed you yesterday!!!!

    Have a good day off and good luck for the next few days

    Lots of love to you all

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