Week 4 – Crossing Antarctica, A 1000 miles alone

Team Army is proud to be sponsoring Lou on this record breaking quest, we were excited to see that on the 25th November Lou wrote  ‘Just to finish off. I’d like to thank Lamont Kirkland from Team Army, who’s been one of my sponsors for the expedition. Brilliant organisation; it’s a private enterprise – they generate funding to support Army sport. Brilliant cause. I’ve really enjoyed working with them. Lamont, I’m looking forward to coming to the Army Navy game in May and presenting on the expedition. It should be a great day out!’

This is the fourth week of the expedition in his own words:

Nov 22nd – Day 20 in Antarctica. Tough conditions after heavy snowfall. Mild temperatures hover around -10. The fully loaded pulk becomes lodged in snow after around 500m. Whiteout descends. After a couple more miles Lou stops and opts to conserve energy. On previous expeditions he’s had to wait for up to five days for conditions to clear…

Nov 23rd – Day 21 in Antarctica. Three weeks into the journey, Lou charges on between pockets of soft snow, trudging hard up to higher ground on firm sastrugi, where he stops for a moment’s rest before blasting across to the next elevation. After lunch Lou contends with strong winds and eventually pitches his tent and wraps himself in his bag with the banshees howling outside – he’s made 10 nautical miles. >>READ MORE>> 

Nov 24th – Day 22 in Antarctica. After a night in his wind-hammered tent Lou steps out expecting raging katabatic winds. The hammering has eased off in the morning and Lou enjoys a wind-free day. Still, he has to face a 500ft morning climb over icy ground, trying to tame his sliding pulk as he heads up towards the Thiel Mountains in the distance. >>READ MORE>>

Nov 25th – Day 23 in Antarctica. A day of good, stable weather, light winds and great visibility. Around lunch Lou looks up and spots ALE’s Basier plane passing overhead, on its way from Union Glacier to the South Pole to set up camp for the first arrivals. Lou makes good progress and puts in 11 hours of solid skiing for 14 nautical miles. He can feel the weight of the pulk coming down and is now only 8 nautical miles from crossing 86 degrees South … >>READ MORE>> 

Nov 26th – Day 24 in Antarctica. A day of poor visibility and monotony. Whiteout conditions return and the horizon empties. Lou spends his day with his compass, keeping a straight line and watching the tips of skis as he dips and rises over sastrugi. It’s a day for music and audio books. But by the end of it the sun appears and Lou bolts on an extra hour, totalling 11 hours and a distance of 14 nautical miles…

Nov 27th – Day 25 in Antarctica. It’s a day of strong winds and low temperatures. A strong headwind hits and passes. It blows around 30-40mph for a couple of hours before easing off. Lou’s mask freezes and moulds to his face early in the day. He switches to mitts which creates difficulties with drinking and eating. Then he switches back to gloves to pitch his tent and get it bedded at the end of the day, having made 13 nautical miles.

Nov 28th – Day 26 in Antarctica. A good day all round. Clear visibility, an unconcealed sun and light headwind. Over the course of 11 hours Lou makes good progress and covers 14 nautical miles…

Nov 29th – Day 27 in Antarctica. Lou wakes up to a weather warning from ALE – a big weather front is coming in. He pushes on through howling winds and zero visibility. There’s a few small disasters along the way – Lou takes a fall down some steep sastrugi and snaps the tip of his ski (don’t worry, he’s prepared and is carrying spares). In spite of the upturn in luck Lou keeps calm and makes 13.5 nautical miles…

Expedition Facts

Capt Lou Rudd MBE is attempting to become the first person in history to complete a solo crossing of Antarctica, unsupported and unassisted. He will travel for 70 days over a distance of 1,500km, from Messner to the Ross Ice Shelf via the South Pole.

When: 1 Nov 18 to late Jan 19

Total Distance: 1,500km

Duration: 75 days

Hauling 140kg of food and equipment

No Resupplies/wind/ vehicle assistance/ outside help

Avg Temp: -30c

Calories: 6,000 per day


PRE-EXPEDITION LOGS – https://shackletonlondon.com/blogs/pre-expedition