Amazingly the screws did hold up... and they didn't do a bad job either. They literally were wood screws through leather soles. the guys definitely did suffer in those boots as against modern ones... but they weren't slipping and sliding about.This pretty much sums it up! What an epic adventure...Q: What's making you want to go so much?
PL: The reason exceptional things happen is...you keep going when people stop.
Dude you are a legend.
A few more questions:
-Did the screws they used as shoe spikes hold up over the whole trek? It seemed a bit dodgy...
-Was there an obvious trail across the mountain? Or did you guys just hoof it and make your own way? Was gps invovled?
-What were the air temps on the island?
Thanks again for fielding the questions!
Nice job man, what an accomplishment...
There was definitely no obvious trail across this terrain. It was wild. The first few hours when we broke camp were very white. We couldn't see anything. When we got near the Tridents... just before the slide down the other side... it began to clear a bit. It was a magic moment as the incredible terrain began to reveal itself out of the murk. Once the visibility cleared we could pick out obvious landmarks to aim for. Baz was the expert. I was a total novice. The roles were reversed from the sea voyage. I have no idea how to walk across a glacier whereas Baz did a great job. No doubt the conditions would have changed from Shackletons time. I think the glaciers would be far more exposed and therefore crevassed. The snow was also a bit mushy which made for hard going... especially with the traditional boots. We averaged about 1 kmh. Apart from the detours he took 100 years ago, I think we followed virtually his exact course. It was strange though as he seemed to overstate the risk/scale of some sections i.e. the slide down the Tridents and the waterfall at the end... and yet totally understate parts that truly shook us up i.e. the descent of "Breakwind Ridge". Maybe some of that can be put down to how the surfaces had changed. There are definitely no tracks, signs or any other mark of modern man on that crossing. There is barely in wild life for the most of it. We were very careful to leave no mark. I remember one wrapper got whisked away by the wind and I couldn't get it. It really annoyed me as any sign of man up there would sort of ruin the place. I was so relieved to spot the wrapper further up the slope and managed to retrieve it. You're not even supposed to leave your turds up there. Serious. They are very strict about who goes up there and what your responsibilities are.
The air temperatures were around 0 (celcius) I guess. Lower at night. Wind chill was a big factor. We wouldn't have made it on the first aborted attempt as the rain came in and that wetness would have taken out the guys in traditional gear. Shackleton had a great weather window when he went. Our second one was also pretty good when I re-joined and we went for it. It was a massive effort. The hardest physical thing I have ever done as due to the other parts of the expedition, we weren't necessarily fit for this type of exertion. I couldn't even drink one beer at the end. I was spent. (well... I did have a few mouthfuls of champagne but that knocked me out.)