It’s been a while since I last wrote about our South Pole plans. Almost a whole year has gone by since Andy, Ben and I postponed SOUTH for a year. During that year the financial world has gone into meltdown. It is difficult to remember a worse time to be seeking corporate sponsorship. It has not been an easy year for us.
Following the postponement, at the beginning of this year Ben decided to try to return to the North Pole for a solo attempt on the speed record following his 2004 trek to the Pole. Reluctant to twiddle my thumbs while he was away, I headed to India. Home again in May we were now too late in the year to find the level of sponsorship we needed for the Grand Plan, so instead we settled on trying for a “short”, “low-budget” one-way speed record attempt on the South Pole; perfect training for the Big One.
But my plans have now changed. Ben has decided that he now wants to go south solo this year. Of course I am disappointed. But I understand his reasoning: it would make him only the second person in history to go solo to both poles, a cool accolade to have! He is also going to try again for the North Pole solo next spring.
I am not ready to head off on a solo polar trip yet so this changed situation leaves me with time on my hands until our planning for SOUTH can re-start once again next May (with the added bonus of Ben’s new experience of conditions in Antarctica). You can follow Ben’s progress towards this winter’s exciting South Pole expedition here.
So, I need to do something in the meantime. It’s time to dust off my atlas, put the kettle on, have a cup of tea and start dreaming and planning something new to keep me out of trouble / get me into trouble until May when I can turn my gaze south once again…
Any suggestions?! Please do leave a comment.