It would only be fitting that the first two members of the team to hit the beach in South Georgia were an LC and an ML. We quickly established the beach head and soon realised that a look out for the enemy needed to be posted. Only on this occasion, the enemy were a pack of ferocious fur seals that appeared from the tussock grass, hungry for a piece of bootneck meat. Once all the team were shoreside, we made our way up the moraine to the start of the glacier that leads to the Shackleton gap. Via use of a map that was basic, to say the least and a little bit of jedi force, the team made its way up to the Briggs Glacier. Movement was slow, due to a number of factors, not least having five people tied together, wearing crampons and doing knees to chest açross the glacier.
As we moved higher, the snow depth increased, making it harder for the lead man to see the crevasses and inadvertently finding himself wedged waste deep in a crack. Much to the amusement of the person behind. Although it does have a serious outcome, should the correct drills not be applied. As the day progressed, the weather turned for the worse. The wind increased and the snow got heavier. By this point we’d been trudging through waist deep snow for 7 hours and legs were tired. Especially for the team that had come straight from watch on the yacht. We have now sought refuge and dug our tents in. The tents we have are a thousand pound each and well designed to withstand the battering that they are currently taking. The plan now is to get some rest and rehydrate ready for a first light start. That is if Kris can avoid kicking me in the face every time he gets cramp.
The irony is not lost on me that as I sit here, typing on an ipad and sending a blog from a tent, via a satellite phone, that we are not just a century away from Shackleton but light years! Tweed jackets have been replaced by down. Hemp rope has given way to man made synthetic, kernmantle climbing rope and the screws that he put in his boots to grip on the ice are now precision manufactured crampons, that cost a years wages in equivalence to his time. This can only make me think that he was not only super driven, motivated and determined to raise the alarm for help but he was also one nails human being!