South 89.10.250 by W 83.27.755

Temperature -20, no wind.

It was an incredibly warm night even though it was about -25 or -30 degrees Celsius outside. Because of the radiance and thermal energy from the sun, it got so hot in the tent I was sleeping on top of my sleeping bag in my skivvies.

We woke up to a gorgeous day; a traditional blue bird day. You could see forever.  When you look out on the incredible expanse, you recognize that you really are just stuffed in this immense polar cap.

Looking at it, I said to Keith, “why did you choose this career?”, and his answer was, “because it was easy.” I think he was using his usual sarcasm.

Started out with tea with the boys and then we got on with the day.

On the trail.

It’s very easy to see that when you look out on the never-ending stretch of polar cap, it really plays with your head. By the time you’ve done pi to the power of seven and calculated that number, you realize you still have still got six hours of skiing and pulling left to do.


The horizon. Hard to tell where the land ends and the sky begins.


Dale and Diego resting in their tent at camp


The team’s campsite and path where they skied from.

Keith, who is a bear of a man, is pulling a sled that probably weighs about 70 kilos. The rest of us are pulling sleds that are about 45 kilos.

Each sled contains your own kit and also the team gear you require. For example, I’m carrying, for my tent with Keith, food and our cooking system. Keith is carrying the tent system, the stove and the fuel. That’s just an example of how you set it up.

The way the day is structured is you walk in pushes and take breaks. Each push lasts about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes and traditionally would cover between 1.2 to 1.5 nautical miles.

The sense when you look out on the horizon is that you’re perpetually going uphill.  That in itself is a little bit disheartening. Nonetheless, we did well today, covering just over 6 nautical miles and are now at south 89.10.250 miles.

Everyone’s cooking dinner in their own tents tonight. We’re having food from a bag – it’s all been dehydrated. I’m having chicken with rice and Keith is having sweet and sour pork with rice. Basically, we keep the food really light and then you add two cups of water and let it sit.

Everyone’s doing well – oxygen saturations all the way around are fine. The team was tired today. It was a longer pull than we did yesterday and people still are trying to get acclimatized, but overall, a really impressive performance by everybody.


8 Responses

  1. Absolutely incredible Team! I am sure that everyone one reading this blog is as proud of the team as I am! To see the logo flying in some of the pictures sends a powerful message to all! Stay strong and be safe ….. We are right behind you!!!!

  2. An endless uphill battle… what a fitting metaphor.

    I hope my favourite transplant recipient is doing well, and am glad to hear that the cold and elevation haven’t become a debilitating combination. I’ve been recieving best wishes from octogenarians who can read blogs but not quite make it past the password/login loophole. Mabel Crooks is watching every step of the way with her family. So is grams. I’ve been reading the blog to mom, who is still in Toronto. She wanted me to pass on the message that Grandma is “holding her own”, but is still unsure about when she’ll return to the Lakehead. I head back to Vancouver today, but am down there with you guys in spirit.

    I’ll push your sleds up the hill.

  3. Message from Sandra Pather:

    Following your progress, very impressive! Wish you all the best. Excellent news from Toronto: Kumie received a heart in early December and is doing very well!

  4. Woow! The pictures are amazing! What a bright day…in many ways!
    It is indeed reassuring to see that everyone is getting better! It is a relief for us too. How’s Diego skiing technique doing? How Dale would compare this expedition vs North Pole? And of course I can’t wait to know how my dearest Michel is doing… I hope he is a happy camper and makes you all having a great time, as he is missed very much at home… I was also wondering whether you would be leaving phone calls like the North Pole expedition. I am such a demanding “follower”.
    Again, you are all on our minds and we pray for good weather, improving altitude acclimation, and fun, fun, fun during this amazing story you are writing!
    Michel, nous avons reçu d’autres photos de nos chiens…”repose-toi” bien là-bas, car une autre aventure t’attend bientôt. Gros, gros calins xxxx

  5. HI Dale and gang.Sounds like all is well .Sonny and Susan send their love prior to heading off to Portugal. Rhonda is already out of the hospital. Will try to find her to see her. Mom is hanging in there ,praying up a storm.Enough for all of you and then some.You guys are missing record warm temps here.+5 in thunder bay for thursday.Take good care of each other.
    love Peg and kids

  6. Great pictures and very inspiring entries. We are all supporting you here. Tons of inquiries from TGH, and the program is safe and sound. Be safe and keep the updates coming

    • Hi Stella,

      Thanks for the comment! If any of Dr. Ross’ patients have questions about the trek, please feel free to email them to me and I’ll be sure to pass them on to her:

      Many thanks,

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