Daily Archives: January 2, 2012

Day 61: White Out

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Reflections | Letters from Home | Interactive Map


Win tickets for you and a guest to the Race to the Pole Welcome Home Reception at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace on the 16th of February 2012! All you have to do is make a donation via the JustGiving.com page to enter our prize draw. There are two tickets (plus a guest each) up for grabs – the winners will be announced on January 20th 2012.


Distance to the Pole (straight line): 94.5 nmi
Total distance travelled: 604.4 nmi


In Association with the Royal British Legion

It’s Day 61 and Henry Worsley of Team Amundsen dedicates today’s report to the chaps at Matrix, staunch supports of both this race and Henry’s previous expedition to the South Pole in 2008. Matrix produced a wonderful Christmas e-card with a distinct SACR flavour to it – take a look here!

The weather? In one word – “horrendous”. It’s more worrying talk about poorly fingers and faces, and food supplies mean the guys can’t afford too many rest days, especially with the Pole tantalisingly close. Ending the day on 12.6 nautical miles, the guys break the 100 nmi to the Pole barrier, putting it at just a ten-day march away. On a more cheerful note, Henry thinks about Shackleton, who reached the 88th degree in 1909, and whether he would have been the first to reach the pole had he chosen to leave from the Bay of Whales.

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Distance to the Pole (straight line): 233 nmi
Total distance travelled: 546.3 nmi


Vic Vicary reports for Team Scott, on a day that the guys probably would have preferred to have spent on the sofa at home, with a nice bacon sarnie and foot rub from the missus. In their dreams, right, SPLWC?! Anyway, what started out as a promising day weather-wise quickly deteriorated into high winds, cold temperatures and a complete white out. Unfortunately, with sastrugi all around and a high risk of losing a man in the zero visibility conditions, the decision was made to end the march after 4.5 hours and 4 nautical miles. We’ve no doubt that they gave it their best shot.

The delay puts their estimated arrival day back again to the 18th or 19th, and it’s necessary to stretch out food supplies a little more, though nothing to cause any concern.

Can’t see the audio player? Download the audio as an MP3
(Click to open directly or right-click and choose “save target or “save link as”)


Please keep pressing the “play” button to advance to the next slide of the presentation.


We give voice to the loved ones of our intrepid adventurers. This week, it’s the turn if Henry’s children Max and Alicia:


“After my dad’s first trip to the pole, I didnt for a minute think that it would be his last! When Mark started coming round to the house a year ago, I was completely gripped and excited about their new expedition. On most weekends, the garden was scattered with equipment, the kitchen table covered in maps, and there were two Polar enthusiasts wandering around the house with faces of concentration and excitment.”

“All of the guys have put their whole hearts into this expedition and they all deserve the sense of achievement that they’ll receive – it must be an indescribable feeling for them when they all reach the pole after such a tough journey. The British Legion’s recovery centres for injured soldiers is the most incredible cause, and the boys intend to continue fundraising for this when they return to England which will be fantastic. I cant wait for them all to get back, and wish them the best of luck in the last stages of their journey.”

Henry's wife Joanna, with son Max and daughter Alicia

Henry's wife Joanna, with son Max and daughter Alicia



“I can never really understand what Daddy loves about being freezing cold, not sleeping in a cosy bed, not having proper food, and all the other endless things that come in the South Pole package! But the only thing I can do is support him, and trust me I do.”

“However much I miss him, my favourite part is seeing him at the airport with a long GREY beard, bringing him home and cooking him the first home cooked meal he’s had in a long time.”

“He is fulfilling his dream; showing everyone in the world that it can be done.  I reckon there are many people who are just sitting thinking about their dreams, but never get round to making them a reality because they have some silly excuse (like too much work)!  But Daddy has and however many more expeditions he’s going to do, I will support him with every single one.”

“How many people can say that their Dad has walked to the South Pole, not once but twice.  I think that there are more people that have stood on the moon than done this route across the Antarctic and it’s an amazing achievement.  I’m not going to lie, the only way you could make me go is in a plane of some sort, but that’s cheating…… maybe one day Mum and I could meet him there???”

If you’re a family member or close friend, and would like to send your message out to all the readers, please do email Andrew Gough (webmaster) at info@scottamundsenrace.org.


Part 2

A series of reflections on Antarctic travels past and present, by Peter Otway. In the early 1960s, Peter surveyed much of the areas through which our teams are now passing.

“Our 3-month survey of the Beardmore-Axel Heiberg region, although typical of the NZ geological and Survey expeditions in the early 1960s, was unique in some respects, covering a larger area than usual (21,000 sq miles) and involving living on the Polar Plateau at 8,000 to 11,000 feet. Best of all from my own perspective, our 4-man team had the privilege of exploring and mapping the areas made famous by Shackleton, Scott, Amundsen and Byrd. The plan devised by our leader, Wally Herbert, was to be landed (by a US Navy DC3) at the head of the Mill Glacier, flowing into the upper Beardmore. How cushy compared to Team Scott’s 7 week slog across the ice shelf and up the glacier! We would then work our way eastward around the edge of the plateau to the Axel Heiberg, setting up our survey stations on high peaks with commanding views over wide expanses of nunataks, mountains and glaciers, all the way down to the Ross Ice Shelf to 60 miles to the north.”

Click here to read Part 2 of Peter Otway’s Reflections in full


Keep track of both teams with our interactive Google Earth map. Zoom in to see each day’s progress, with the position marked by pictures of team leaders Henry Worsley and Mark Langridge. Click on the icon to see that day’s sitrep in full.

View SACR in a larger map

A Special Message to all Schools

The three schools that raise the most funds for the Scott-Amundsen Race and the Royal British Legion will be rewarded with a visit from the Scott team! Mark, Vic and Kev will give a full presentation during their visit, with slides, videos, images, in short, the full works.

Schools wishing to donate should do so via the JustGiving.com page. Enter the name of your school when donating, and email Andy the webmaster atinfo@scottamundsenrace.org to make sure we register your donation.

We’d also like to invite all the schools that are following the progress to contact the webmaster, so that you can be mentioned on a new “Scott-Amundsen Schools” page. Please include a very short text on your school and any SACR-related activities, especially fundraising efforts! We’ll list your school plus a link to your website.