By Brian Newham.


The time has come for us to depot our precious fuel and to head back to the coast. It has not been an easy journey to get this far and the large vehicles and heavy loads have given us plenty of challenges as we have crawled our way inland and through the Sør Rondane mountains.

In a perfect world we would have liked to get our depot much further south but the terrain, weather and complications of Ran’s departure have left us far short of our goal. It’s a fact of life down here that your plans have to remain flexible. You have to adapt to the conditions, to know when to push and when to wait and that is what we have done and this is where we have got to. So, we will go back to the coast now in readiness for the start of our winter journey and when we pass here again we know that we will have to start ferrying loads again as we simply can’t pull them all at once. That is the way it will have to be. Of course, it affects our logistical jigsaw but the numbers still work out so we will adapt and move onwards.

Today we managed to get our final loads through a particularly difficult area and we now have our depot on the very edge of the high plateau. It’s been a glorious day with blue skies streaked with high cirrus clouds. The strong winds of yesterday have kindly dropped to a more moderate breeze and the snow surface has been alive with the snaking movement of low drift. From the depot, looking south, all we see is a vast emptiness but for now we must turn our backs and look again at the mountains. We need to go north for a short while but we will be back.