Head South Challenge: Track Our Trek Here!
Altitude sickness, frozen beards and pristine views!
It’s been a week since the Head South team started the long trek to the South Pole, all with the same passion and purpose – to raise as much money as possible to fund vital research into Brain Tumours and help find a cure for this devastating disease.
On the 1st January 2020, Mike and the intrepid team headed up by polar explorer, Alan Chambers, and the unstoppable Lewis Moody, began their journey, heading south to trek 111km in unimaginable conditions across the Antarctic Plateau to their icy destination.
The team have already smashed their fundraising target, with over £300,000 raised for the cause so far, but they are not stopping now, and neither are their efforts to raise even more money for The Brain Tumour Charity. There’s still a very long way to go, and THEY NEED YOUR HELP TO KEEP GOING!!
So make yourself a cuppa, pull up a chair, look at the temperature wherever you are and imagine how they must feel right now in the Antarctic.
You can get live updates by tracking the team’s progress to the Pole here. Just look at the vast freezing space and dig deep to do what YOU can to support them by donating, while they face another day of their exhausting mission.
There will be so many stories to tell when the team is back home, but with very little ability to communicate with the rest of the world, here’s a small taste of what you’re (not) missing out on so far!
Day one – two:
After a 30 hour journey from London Heathrow to Santiago, then on to Punta Arenas, the team arrived at their hotel late New Years Day.
After a good night’s sleep, they were reunited with their huge kit bags and sledges ready for a weigh-in, finding just enough time to explore Punta Arenas and enjoy a last beer together at the Shackleton bar, the place Polar Explorer Ernest Shackleton stopped on his journey to the South Pole in 1916.
It’s an early start and time to make the next move, to Union Glacier base camp. Once there, it’s time for 36 hours of safety briefings and getting used to using the kit on the ice.
The temperature is a cold -11 with no wind, but there’s a new weather front heading in on the next flight path so it’s now a waiting game now to make the next leg of the journey. The team bed down in tents ready for an early start.
After a four and a half hour flight on a 1943 WWII plane, on Saturday evening the team arrive at Parallel 89 and their trek finally begins. The temperature is now a painful -42 degrees and all their beards have frozen! It’s so cold it hurts.
With 200kg sleds to pull, and altitude sickness kicking in causing constant headaches, they managed 2 hours of trekking before pitching up tents and preparing for their first night, a very long way from home in the most remote part of Antarctica.
The team gathers snow, which takes over 2 hours to boil before they can eat or drink anything warm. The plan is to walk for 4 hours tomorrow once they have acclimatised to the tough conditions.
Day five – six:
Day 2 of trekking, and spurred on by news from home that the fundraising is still going strong, the team manages to DOUBLE their miles walked in the freezing snow!
The sky is blue and they are focusing on the challenge ahead, with an aim to cover 8 miles each day. And each day is getting into more of a routine now, with a 6am start and a couple of hours to boil more snow for preparing food and drink whilst packing up the tents, loading up the sleds, and starting the next long cold walk for the day.
Day 3 trekking, and 8 miles on the ice complete! The Headsouth team are beginning to acclimatise to the extreme altitude, and have been treated to kinder weather with sun, blue skies and -20 degrees.
It’s time to show our amazing team all the support and encouragement we possibly can to keep going. They still have a very long way to go, and with such a great team keeping spirits high, they are helping each other every step of the way, but energy levels will soon be dropping.
PLEASE take 2 minutes to visit Just Giving and send them a message of support for all they are doing for others. Any amount you give will help them to know this is all worth it.
On behalf of Mike and the whole team, we’ll be back with more updates soon. So please stay tuned and do everything you can to support. THANK YOU!