Parker Liautaud: On Track After Day 4

10th December 2013, 02:07pm

“It’s the end of day four. Challenging, but a good day today. I think we did 13.6 nautical miles in total distance, straight line from our last camp. We got about, 10.1 nautical miles further toward the pole. The reason why we’re not going in a straight line is because we’ve been winding through the mountains and we’re probably 1 or 2 days away from just going in a straight line towards the pole.

Our coordinates are 86º10.289’ South and 139º 58.492’ West. […] We’re going to try to move a bit sideways tomorrow and maybe even the day after we may not go directly South. But today we had a long day, 11 hours of skiing and we had to climb more actually. We were at the top of the Leverett Glacier yesterday, but the glacier actually flattens out up towards the plateau.

Yesterday we were at 7200 feet, around 2400 meters, and now we’re at 8600 feet or around 2800 meters.

We climbed about 1400 feet today, which is tough. A lot of that was in the beginning of the day when we went up the last few rises and we have a little bit of flat today. But the snow was a little bit deeper and softer than what we have been dealing with the last few days and so it was challenging to pull our sleds through. It made it just a bit harder.

I think it was a good day for the conditions. It’s actually very nice, very sunny. It’s probably only minus a few degrees outside. It’s absolutely boiling hot in the tent. It’s ridiculous how hot it is actually with the door closed. We don’t even need to shut our sleeping bags or anything. So that’s just kind of a funny scene to not have to wear any sort of warm clothing inside a tent. We’re actually venting. We’re opening the tent door.

We are trying to just get towards the pole as fast as we can. It’s a challenging environment, but it’s exciting and I’m having a good time. I’m still trying to sort out a couple of minor medical issues: a cough, a rash, some back pain. I feel like I’m the old guy here. Doug called me a 50-year-old man. It’s ironic because Doug is doing absolutely splendidly. He has no medical issues whatsoever, and he is actually 50.

We’re just sorting it out, these are part of expeditions, and hopefully we’ll be able to iron everything out before the next few days and make a b-line towards the pole.

I’m happy with our progress so far. It’s been mentally challenging at the end of each day. I think we’re really pushing our limits in terms of the amount of hours we can do. Hopefully we can increase that, but I think 11-12 hours is [good] at the moment, and hopefully that will increase to maybe even 13 or 14 as we get closer to the pole and things flatten out maybe.

You know, I think today given that we had to climb 1400 feet, the fact that we got 13.5 nautical miles which is over 20 kilometers, it doesn’t seem like a lot compared to the average that we need to break record, but we’re still on track and I’m happy with that.

The last few days were really monstrous days. We were lucky to have the conditions that allowed us to do that, the distance that we have done so far.

You know there’s going to be bad days, there’s going to be good days. I’m excited for the next couple of weeks and we’ll see what they hold for us and the kind of challenges that we can overcome and be creative in getting around.

Everything’s all good here, good spirits and I think we’re going have a long and challenging day tomorrow.

Thank you for following. Oh, and Doug’s having a snow bath, wanted me to say that, just cause of the conditions. He’s standing outside in down boots and underwear, and that is all.”

– Parker Liautaud, Willis Resilience Expedition