Thursday, February 06, 2014

Antarctica 2013: The End Is Nigh For Scott Expedition

Today is the day that the 2013-2014 Antarctic season comes to an end at last. With most of the team already long gone, the Scott Expedition continues to labor towards their finish line. But the boys are now just 15 km (9.3 miles) from their end point and they are more than ready to wrap up what has been an excruciatingly long and difficult journey.

Over the past week or so, Ben Saunders and Tarka L'Herpiniere have been averaging about 24 miles (38 km) per day. That means they have a relatively short leg to complete today, before reaching a research station located on the Ross Ice Shelf. With that in mind, they have elected to sleep in a little late today and take their time on these final miles. They'll savor as much of the last day as possible, considering they have found little joy in their exhausting trip to the South Pole and back.

Spirits are high for both men as the near the end, but they are definitely weary and ready to go home. The tale of the tape says that when they are finished they'll have covered 2875 km (1786 miles) over 105 days. That is an incredible amount of time to spend out on the ice and it has clearly taken its toll. Still, the team would have made their namesake proud, as they complete Robert Falcon Scott's route to the Pole and back. That alone is an accomplishment worth celebrating.

I'll post an update when Ben and Tarka are done. They were the first out on the ice, and they'll be the last to go home. A much deserved rest is waiting for them.

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