Location:  south 89.43.717, west 83.17.894

We did 8.6 nautical miles today.

When we woke up it was actually really, really cold but the sun was out was a little bit and as the day wore on we saw all kinds of everything.  We had increasing wind. We had snow. We had overcast skies across the horizon, and then as we came to camp the sun came back again.

As Michel and I were walking back the last little bit into camp, all of a sudden we felt the earth move and as Keith explained it to me, it was like a horizontal avalanche because different layers of snow underneath the top crust that had just collapsed. We could hear it and we could actually feel the motion. Apparently this is quite common and absolutely nothing to be worried about.

011113at break

The team during a break

011113dale hr

Dale and Dr. Ross


Dr. Delgado shows off his sled


Inside the tent

Weather got me thinking… In 2006, we were unavoidably detained in Punta Arenas, which impacted our ability to successfully climb Vinson. This was because of weather. In 2008 in Nepal, we had monsoon-style rain. Which threatened to flood the camp off the mountain. In 2010 at the North Pole, we were pinned down for 60 hours because of the weather.

We’ve been remarkably lucky with on this trip with weather. Despite having some changes, for the most part it hasn’t affected our travel.

I think there’s really one thing different about this trip than all other trips… That’s Diego. I have decided he is a good weather magnet and he clearly is a good luck weather charm and as a result, the Test Your Limits team is not letting him go.

The last couple of days have been a little bit challenging for me. I had a cold and then into bronchitis. I haven’t talked about it because I didn’t want to upset my parents. But I’m definitely getting better so I thought I would go back and retrace the last couple of days.

About two days ago, Michel offered to take some of my gear. He exchanged about 20 to 25 pounds of my gear for some lighter aspects of his gear. And Dale, Diego and Michel did some shifting of their group tent gear and as a result, I was able to lighten my sled substantially, which made it remarkably easier for me over these last few days. I’m not actually certain I would have been able to do the last few days without that help.

As a result, I have a huge shout out to my burley boys Keith, my tent mate, Dale, Diego and Michel, who, for a number of days have taken more than their share to help me.

It really feels real. Everybody’s sense is that we’re actually, potentially going to achieve the pole in two days with the distance we’ve put in, if the weather holds and we have no unexpected surprises.

This is incredibly exciting for everybody. You could really, palpably feel the excitement at camp today.


8 Responses

  1. Glad to hear you are getting near to the finish line. Also, glad to hear that your cold is on the mend Heath. All the best and here’s to brilliant weather to the pole! D&C

  2. So happy for you Heather that you are recovering well and that the journey seems to go beautifully with this weather. I want to give a “big shout out” to you! As I am not sure if one a the guys would have caught your cold, they would have been able to follow the group as you did :)))
    Diego, we hope you finish this trip soon and come back to Canada to bring us nice winter weather as we will reach 5 degrees Celsius here in Montreal: we want a little Antarctic weather home too!
    Dale, I hope your meds are warm, your heart happy and proud of all your accomplishment. You are a true inspiration for heart transplant and non-heart transplant followers of this blog. I send you energy and positive thoughts every day.
    Keith and Brien, I hope the group doesn’t make too much trouble, that you are enjoying this expedition as the group! Whenever you come to Canada you have to stop by in Montreal and have dinner with Michel and I: it is an invitation! Thank you for looking after all of them.
    Michel, my love, I hope you keep your eyes wide open: to find quickly your stuff first (I’m sure the 4 every day bags are in order and you did not do WCT mess at all!!) and to bring the infinite beauty of this no man land home. I am with you every minute, every day. Big, big warm kisses xxxx

  3. Am following along Heather. Kudos to you and the team at your steady progress and teamwork. Glad you’re on the mend. Classic H, glossing over the bronchitis. 🙂 xo I’m shaking my head but also cheering you on.

  4. Heather Ross, haven’t you realized yet that with every trip there is always “excitement” and most of us accept that you will hold something back until it passes and you are better. So glad to hear you are better.

    At TGH, the team is doing well. The new transplants are on the blog daily watching in awe and wishing you all the best.

    Keep well. 2 more days to go… WOW.

  5. THRILLING progress! So fun. Big smiles over here. And huge thanks guys, for helping out my friend HR. As we know, she’d MUCH rather be the one carrying more than her share.

    Cheering you on from 48d 29′ 02″ N 123d 20′ 36″ W (Relatively ho-hum coordinates, but there you go.)

    Sue (and Dennis!) xo

  6. Hey Dale and gang. Hate to tell you but it’s 15 degrees cels. in good old toronto. I will leave the cell on tomorrow if you can get your fingers to work. Mom is holding her own as is the rest of the family nudge,nudge, wink wink.Looking forward to having you all back under the safety net of civilization.Miss you.
    Love Peg and s and d and k and j and a and g .

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