We made it

Yesterday was the toughest day of the trip so far. I think it must have been the combination of the very high winds and the build up of wear and fatigue on our body. The last 5km were especially grueling, I was behind Baba for part of that section, we had a vicious cross wind from our left and every step he took looked to be his last. I could see that he was completely spent, and to be honest so was I. I pulled up next to him to ask how he was doing like I have done so many times this trip to which I always get an “I’m fine” even when he was not but this time all I got was a rasp with one word “Tired”. But sure enough he put one foot in front of the other for two more hours and we made it. I cannot begin to describe the feeling of halation that overcame us all.

A toll has been paid though, my feet blew up with blisters when we were done, luckily we were finished when the worse ones came, the tip of my right index finger has frost bite (don’t worry Ma, I’ll get to keep it, it should recover on its own) and our faces and noses look like they’ve been attacked by a mad man with sand paper.

This trip has been incredibly grueling, thoroughly uncomfortable, inhumanely cold, painful, in fact agonizing at times but absolutely sensational! Covering 111km from 89 South to the South Pole with my sixty year old father and brother across the most miserable, desolate, savage, isolated and inhospitable place on earth has been the greatest experience of my life. When we arrived I had to hold back a tear in fear of it being inappropriate, but I looked at Baba and saw a couple running down his face and figured sure we’re allowed a couple. The only thing missing was Hamza.

I wish I could say that was the end of the story and now we get to leave this place and I get my hot shower, but I guess in Antarctica nothing is made simple. The Basler is on its way now to pick us up, it should be here in three hours to take us to Union Glacier, but because of bad weather the Ilyushion will not be able to fly in to Union Glacier for another couple of days, we were supposed to fly out on it today.

Haytham.

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22 Responses to We made it

  1. Mohammed Aqil says:

    Dear Sh. Waleed,

    AsSalamualaikum, كل عام وانتم بخير

    Being served Zahid Group for 18 years, I feel, I am a member of Z family and therefore whenever I hear the achievements of our Beloved Leader Sheikh Waleed, I pray for more success!
    May Allah Bless You people – Glad to see the KSA flag over there and wishing you all safe journey and more success to achieve!

    Mohammed Aqil
    Jeddah –
    mohammedaqil@hotmail.com

  2. Maha says:

    Alf mabrook my dear neighbors …
    Congratulations on this magnificent adventure..
    See you soon nshalla.. B Salama

  3. RET says:

    Alf Mubarak, Zahid Expedition! Very well done. All my best for re-entry to the world.

    Ret

  4. Fadel Hassan says:

    Dear Haytham and Mohamed,
    Congratulations on such a magnificent and courageous achievement which demanded alot of dedication and perseverance to get through such an amazing adventure. I was pretty sure that you were going to make it. I am defenitely going to be bragging about this to my friends.
    Wondering and looking forward to your next exciting trip and wishing you a safe trip back home.
    P.S.: Take care of your valued fingertips on your way back.

  5. Merrill Dean says:

    Congrats to all…what an adventure…and accomplishment fellows. I’m ready to agree with Waleed’s commentary under that great photo of you guys :>)…blisters and I’m sure some really sore muscles. All’s well, that ends well…and I’m happy to see you all back at the Union Glacier!! Bravo men!! Well done…and God’s speed home. Big hugs to all…Merrill

  6. sultana says:

    Toom
    Good job I only saw this dispatch today….frostbite???Kheir inshallah.

    Hi Duncan
    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for once again following Ernest Hemingway and his crew on another advendture. I honestly can say, that knowing that you were out there with Waleed and the boys gave me great reassurance. God bless you and I thank you for your courageous friendship.

    Hi Dr. Lunt
    I also wish to thank you for also always being part of the adventures WYZ embarks on, but this one in particular, gave his mother and I comfort to know your expert friendship was there keeping a watchful eye on everyone’s well being. God bless you.

    Love to all
    SMAz

  7. Tarek F. Dajani says:

    I must admit that I felt a little jealous following your endeavours from the comfort and warmth of Jeddah (and it’s winter over here!). But, on further reflection, it certainly takes a certain character to take on such a challenge, and hence the jealousy!

    Many congratulations! Looking at the picture of the 3 Zs with the Saudi flag on the bottom of the earth gave me goosebumps! And thank you for taking us along on this adventure of yours. Waiting for the next dispatch was akin to the anticipation of a forthcoming sequel to a great monie!

    Safe trip back. Looking forward to getting more details from you all in person.

  8. DDZ says:

    Dear Waleed, Haytham & Mohamed,

    Much as I enjoyed following the exciting daily events of this incredible adventure, I am thrilled that your ordeal is finally over, and you will all be returning back to us safe and sound, Inshallah. I was especially touched by your last report of tearful gratitude for the end of this ordeal. We all look forward to seeing you soon and hearing first hand your great stories.

    BTW, I had intended to co-sign MYZ’s earlier comment of congratulations, but he went off on a tangent on other subjects which I really could not see myself signing on.

    Warmest wishes also to Duncan, who is usually entrusted to deliver all of you safely back from Africa, now his portfolio has been extended to Polar Expeditions as well.

    Love,

    Debby

  9. Yann says:

    Alf Mabrook to all of you on this fantastic achievement and magnificant effort.
    There is no doubt that your recent achievements will be remembered of for some time to come and that the admiration for your accomplishments is felt by all of us.
    Have a safe return to the kingdom, Yann

  10. john says:

    Congrats guys.
    Very happy to hear that you are all safe.
    Haytham, your writing is getting to be top notch, I thoroughly
    enjoyed it

  11. Zahid says:

    Alf Mabrook Uncle Waleed, Haytham, Moe and Team.
    Congratulations on this momentus achievement Ma Sha’a Allah Tabarek Allah.
    Thank you for including all of us on your wonderful journey; you transported all of us to a universe of wonder, struggle, pain, agony, frustration, survival, elation, delight, comraderie……truly magical 🙂
    I pray that God continues to protect and bless you and your loved ones with the good of these worlds.
    With great Love and Admiration,
    Zahid, Sara, Ismail, Safia, Sulaiman and Amna

  12. Badiya says:

    Congratulations on making it to the tip of the earth! It’s really awesome that you’ve done something so remarkable and adventurous .. I married into a very cool family .
    I would also like to say that I am sorry Hamza wasn’t with you; although according to him I had nothing to do with it o:).
    I hope you all make it home safe and sound.
    see you soon inshallah.

    lots of love,
    Badiya

  13. Ron Turner says:

    Sheikh Waleed , Haytham and Mohamed , my personal congratulations to you on what you have achieved. You have shown again that Saudis are capable of anything when they put their mind to it.
    I like Sheikh Waleed’s comment that ” no sane human being could possibly enjoy this place ”
    Having been in Canada and Norway during winter excercises I would agree . Have had forstbite on my toes as we did not have tents to sleep in, we had to sleep in snow holes.
    See you all when you get back , Sheikh Waleed , I look forward to listening to the story of your adventure of a lifetime.

    Ron Turner

  14. Greg Noonan says:

    Waleed, Haytham, and Mohamed. Warm congratulations from sunny La Jolla Ca. We followed the progress of the expedition every step of the way and are greatly relieved to learn that you survived the final two days considering the drama on the last leg. You are forever more the most MACHO, COURAGEOUS, and CRAZY friends I have ever known. Haytham, you are a very talented writer and I vote for that novel one day.
    Thank God you are all safe.
    All the best,
    Greg Noonan

  15. Merrill Dean says:

    Congrats to all of you…with a special “BRAVO” to Waleed…and a Happy Birthday to boot, buddy…well done all, and I cannot imagine the exileration of that first ‘freakin’ hot shower after the wind chill effects and blowing snow and pumping those pins across what had to be endless snow in front of you. WELL DONE MEN!! I look forward meeting your guys Waleed…and glad you accomplished the mission…really outstanding. All the the best, Merrill (Scottsdale, AZ) and currently Puerto Vallarta, MX with the family for Christmas. Big Abrazos to all!!

  16. MYZ says:

    Alf Mabrook on this momentous and truly magnificent achievement. The sense of relief must be immense, and justifiably so, and we all much look forward to your safe return.

    I am sure that the whole team is completely spent at this time, having pushed themselves beyond the scope of normal human endurance. Howevere I am glad to hear that the only casualty was a slight case of frost bite on one of Haytham’s finger tips. I still remember, with cringing horror, the story of one of the previous adventurers who lost the tip of an entirely different appendage, while carelessly attending a call of nature. We’re glad you are all coming back with such valauble appendages fully intact, and I am sure you are eager to put them to good use.

    Love,

    MYZ

  17. Ashir says:

    Congratz Team Zahid!

    Ashir

  18. Stephen says:

    Mabrouk! amazing, fantastic job!

  19. Chuck Pieper says:

    Waleed, congratulations to you, your family and friends. What a gift you have delivered to all. Brilliant. Simply brilliant. One can read the deep appreciation in all the dispatches. Safe travels home to you all. Very best regards, Chuck

  20. Talal Idriss says:

    My first feeling thank God they are safe, there were few treacherous days that we were all holding our breath I’m sure.
    My second thought goes to Haytham, the storyteller, it felt like we were reading a novel that was actually unfolding day by day and nobody knew the ending. If he hasn’t discovered that yet he should by now, he had the writers pen and talent.

    Willis, everybody that knows you, know you have the guts to attempt this”out-of-the-box”adventure. But now that you’re safe I can joke little bit and say”what a nut”.

    Mohammed my favorite married zahid, we didn’t hear you but we knew you were there enjoying every minute of it.
    Willis, I hope you kept the personal diary of the thoughts that went in your mind during this unbelievable adventure, and maybe one day ,the three of you, write a book describing this innermost feeling of being alone with nature on an endless road.

    To the invisible heroes from Dr. Lunt to the manager to the crew and to everybody that made this happen, thank you for taking care of our boys, reading the dispatches we always felt your running a first-class show.
    I must admit that I sent you comments before that didn’t find a way to the website, maybe I pressed the wrong button. I hope this one makes it.

  21. Khalid Malik AlGhalib says:

    Job well done…
    Absolutely an astonishing achievement!
    Congratulations to all… Enjoy the well deserved hot showers!
    Regards,
    Khalid

  22. Majid Zahid says:

    Many many congrats on this enormous achievement!! Absolutely incredible!! We’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the updates along your gruelling expedition.

    Look forward to seeing you all in person and hearing all about it first hand.

    Hope you have a safe journey back, and happy defrosting!!

    With love,

    Majid

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