4.08am (GMT 16th Jan) 1.08am Local time (16th Jan)

After the drama of yesterday’s weather by the time we set the camp up last night and had supper, the weather had completely changed. It turned into an absolutely incredibly perfect evening, still, sunny but as always very cold. We decided to start early this morning and we were in harness and skiing by 8.15am. Antarctica provided the best weather of the entire trip for this special day. So still, so clear, and the snow very crisp. After 1 hour we should make out the buildings of the South Pole station. For the last 8 days we have seen nothing but white snow, no topography , no land, no buildings, no trace of humanity, no trace of animals so the site of the station, although such a significant landmark to me and Antarctica, will look slightly out of place in this magnificent wilderness. I anticipated that seeing the Pole after all these days would be such an exciting event that I would have renewed vigour and quicken my pace to my final destination; strangely that was not quite the case. As the weather was so perfect we saw the buildings some 7 miles out and the relief of knowing that we were safe and we were going to complete this journey flooded through my veins and it was a great feeling indeed. The frustration however is that we still had 4 hours of skiing to get there and everything in Antarctica looks closer than it is because there is no relief and nothing to reference it against, those buildings took forever to come closer. My cumulative tiredness became very apparent and my legs felt like lead. At a certain place, 1.5 miles from the station, we had to call the base and ask, as protocol, for permission to enter the zone. As Seth was making the call I had a silly thought, what if they said no? Of course they didn’t, I’m from Wales, from God’s country!

We then skied down the approach avenue, the only designated route which is marked by flags every 100 meters, for the final 1.5 miles. It is dead straight and took us over an hour but we had arrived at the geographic South Pole and were standing at the bottom of the world. What an amazing feeling.

The station is vast with enormous buildings that house 150 Americans who work at the base. We had a designated area to put up our tent, which we did and then found a mess tent to find some food. To have succeeded was a great feeling. We had overcome the dangers and the risk of frostbite, altitude sickness, getting lost and everything else that this continent can throw at you, was a huge relief.

There was another fear that today was removed and that was the fear of failure. Because I wanted to raise a lot of money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and increase amongst other things the awareness of Bluestone, this sponsored walk was a high profile one from the word go. I have already done many of radio and TV interviews before leaving the UK and was conscious that if I didn’t complete this challenge I would have to come back with my tail between my legs and face the consequences. It is a good feeling indeed that I do not have to face that ordeal. Later this evening I walked the last half mile to the famous globe with flags of the members of the Antarctic Treaty fluttering around in a semi-circle. I took some photographs with my sponsor’s logos which I am looking forward to these presenting to them. Without their support this endeavour could not have been undertaken and I thank them most sincerely.
I also would like to thank anyone who had taken the time to read my diary, over the last 10 days especially, I have told it as it is. I will continue for a few more days as I have a special centenary event to commemorate Scott’s arrival at the pole 100 years ago on the 17th and we have a tour of the base tomorrow morning and all sorts of interesting things going. Incidentally we arrived on Sunday 15th Chilean at 3pm which is 3 hours behind GMT but the South Pole station runs on new Zealand time 16 hours ahead. So effectively we got here on Monday 16th at 7am. I don’t really know when we arrived. What I can say, with confidence however, is that I am definitely here, I am safe, very happy. Mission accomplished!

Interview with William Live from the South Pole on Radio Pembrokeshire

Click here to listen

 

To listen to William’s interview on the BBC Wales Roy Noble show on Friday

Click here to listen

16 responses to "Reaching the Pole – Day 11 – 15th January 2012"

  1. Andrew and Jenny

    Well done William, what an achievement! Have been following you via your blog and so pleased you have made it safely.

    12:40 pm - 16/01/2012

  2. Jakee

    Well done William, such a great achievement! :-)

    12:46 pm - 16/01/2012

  3. Sam

    Well done! Such an amazing effort – we’re all so very proud x

    12:51 pm - 16/01/2012

  4. John Daniels

    William. Brilliant achievement I have followed your daily blog and have been amazed at your courage and fortitude. Trust that you can now enjoy some relaxation and comfort at what is undoubtedly a very special place. You have achieved something that is quite amazing.
    Llongyfyrchiadau (Congratulations) and Well Done.I hope that the money comes flooding in for your chosen charity. John Daniels

    1:01 pm - 16/01/2012

  5. Paul & Trish

    Well done, amazing achievement!!
    Indefatigable determination and the necessary drive to succeed was a given, the only concern was whether the extreme weather would make it impossible or would claim “bits”, but even those two blizzard days could not dent the rate of progress.
    We shall miss the blogs.
    We salute you in the time honoured tradition of Hooks – with copious alcohol!

    3:27 pm - 16/01/2012

  6. David Staziker

    Congratulations William

    4:41 pm - 16/01/2012

  7. Jude Davies & all at the Sunderland Trust

    Congratulations William from us at at the Sunderland Trust! What a fantastic achievement for you personally, and for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Well done! Look forward to seeing and hearing all about it at the next trustee meeting.

    4:56 pm - 16/01/2012

  8. Jenna & Bluestone team @ The Yard

    Congratulations William, we will celebrate your achievement with a glass of vino at the staff party, big cheers!

    7:53 pm - 16/01/2012

  9. Fiona

    Awesome job William, so proud to know you.

    8:06 pm - 16/01/2012

  10. Dot

    Amazing…such a good blog, have been every step of the way with you! Congratulations to you both – hope you’re enjoying some luxury now. Looking forwrd to tales of your adventure. Big hugs!

    8:18 pm - 16/01/2012

  11. Jeff and Mary Adams (Sharon's mum and Dad)

    Well done William, great achievement and a great cause.
    Safe journey home.

    8:27 pm - 16/01/2012

  12. Georgia + Martha

    Uncle William we’ve followed you every day and are really proud. Big hugs when we see you x

    8:44 pm - 16/01/2012

  13. Kath & Andy

    Congratulations William on reaching the South Pole and not coming home with your toe in a jar :) – fantastic achievement, well done!

    8:47 pm - 16/01/2012

  14. Mave & Melanie

    Well done big Will! Truly an amazing achievement and for such a great cause!
    Very inspirational.

    8:48 pm - 16/01/2012

  15. Mark, Sally, Daniel and Matthew

    Well done William, have followed your blog each day with bated breath. Your gritted determination has achieved the ultimate goal that you will never forget!

    10:56 pm - 16/01/2012

  16. Gavin & Yvonne

    Good effort William. Since hearing your name on The Wave we’ve been following your progress on the blog. You’ve shown great physical and mental stamina – Strong! You will have to keep your sunglasses on when you arrive back home to shield your eyes from the greenery of Pembs.

    12:30 am - 17/01/2012

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