Saturday, 31 October 2015

Visual summary of Polar Training & Antarctica striptease πŸ˜‰

A little summary of my polar training in New Zealand πŸ˜€

And of course the demo of the number of layers πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ aka Antarctica striptease πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Polar training in New Zealand

A quick up, shake out the kit (πŸ˜‰πŸ˜€) and we headed out to the heliport at the base of the Glacier. 

We arrived on the glacier and the focus was setting up camp and putting the brew on. We literally dug in .... Something that i havent done for many a yearπŸ˜€. I have to say, i love the mountains and its so good to be back in them - there is something very peaceful about the mountains. After an extremely difficult couple of years but with the last being another 'turning point' (more to follow on that) I am starting a new chapter with 2600mile hike and 2 month expeditions to the South Pole, this should be a good starting point for the next stage.... especially as i am feeling stronger than i have ever before as i sit on the mountain with my integrity, principles and moral compass fully in tact. And that feels great and I guess comes with the above πŸ˜€

Ok, so there were a few realisations on this trip. One of them being how compact the tent was (i had a one person bivvi for the PCT) and the thought that 'i will of course have to use the peewee in the tent' (with two other guys) still seems a distant line that i have yet to cross!! I am sure that i will update you as i get closer to that line πŸ˜€.

On Sunday we, (ok so i say we .... But i really mean I hoofed the 53kg sled and Andy sailed up ahead, less a sledπŸ˜€) up the glacier. The sun was out so the sweat was on and with the ever increasing gradient and reaching the tipping (or dragging back point) on what i could pull up the mountain on the sled got ever closer πŸ˜€.
Sundays camp had proper cut out blocks of ice around the tent ... It looked very cool and worked a treat. 

Monday was more hoofing up to the cabin (weather was coming in) .... This was all fine except the cabin was perched at the top of a ledge πŸ˜€ .... 

Absolutely no worries, well until the tipping point was reached and i was left looking like a hampster attempting to walk on a stuck ferris wheel πŸ˜€. So crampons were put on and the final hoofing up the hill was completed. 

Monday was stunning ...a 'quick' stiletto transverse over to mount etna I was thankful that i didnt break a leg or twist a knee πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€. I love skiing but this 'nordic skiing' is on a different realm. But soon it was out with the mountaineering gear and up wee  Etna  πŸ˜€ it was stunning and my first snowy climb to a wee windy peak. 

The return back to the hut (yes a rope snory there or two) left me chuckling most of the way back ... Similarities of a beginner heading down a black run after fresh snow dump were quite uncanny πŸ˜€πŸ˜€. I should say, i can ski ... Just not nordic ski with soft boots - if you have not tried it - you must .... It has a fantastic comedy value - especially if you are watching!! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜³πŸ˜€ Luckily before i had my doubts of nordic skiing to the south pole i was assured that it was a gentle slope up and mainly flat to the pole.... No down hill or tranversing the hills πŸ˜€. Nonetheless there was a question of whether a (novice or not) nordic skiier would usually ski where we were. πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ however, deepends are good places and by Wednesday ... I managed to keep upright and ski all the way down the glacier with only one fall πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€
So chuffed. 

It was so stunning ... I just didnt want to go back down 😬
(Photo by Andy Coles Photogrphy)

A great week that fitted my humour ... It was filled with supportive 'well dones and you are doing so well (so that gave me a good quantifier of my level!! that made me giggle!!) 

So now its just the flight back before i head out to the south pole πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ in a couple of weeks.... Its just too exciting for words πŸ˜€
Many thanks go to Andy Coles - a fab guide-  who was extremely patient especially with guide books, skidoos, falls and trees 😊... He has set me up extremely nicely for the next trip and future mountaineering πŸ˜€...... With a bit of British best thrown in πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

Friday, 23 October 2015

Journey to New Zealand

Mammouth plane journey to Wanaka which is about 1 hour away from Queenstown (South Island). Four plane changes but my luggage didnt get lost πŸ˜€

I have to say that although uneventful (no delays, missed flights, lost luggage etc) I did meet a couple of really lovely people along the way. However never have I stayed still for such a long time ever!! 48 hours on a plane (ish) meant that towards the end my legs would 'jump' and spasm which is not good no matter which way i look at it ... And that was after regular rotation of feet, wandering up and down the isle! (But my legs certainly swelled too... ) ho hum... 

I arrived in Wanaka by 2pm so had to keep myself awake until hiker bedtime. So, a stroll down to the bay/ lake shore munching a few pringles led me the local pub and best burger in town. Yes, straight back into hiker mode it seems (if it left me in the first place).

Anyway, by 6pm I was in bed, out for the   count until 6am. 

Monday, 19 October 2015

Monday, 12 October 2015

Supporting a great cause

Hello to all those who visit this page. 

Firstly thank you for dropping by and reading my blurb. It really has been great to know that there are a few people or so from across the world who keep up with the latest adventures of Em. It really is very comforting especially in those moments of doubt that we all get from time to time.  

As you will know from the blog, I am undertaking my life dream of skiing to the South Pole. I will be crossing the most extreme place in the world as dear Captain Scott found out to his cost. I hope to be the 67th woman EVER to complete this challenge and with only 13 British women or a total of 330 people (men and women) these numbers make this expedition even more exciting. 

am raising money for Cancer Research and have set up a justgiving page for this very worthy cause.

Skiing for two months whilst pulling my sled across the most extreme place in the world is a challenge but nothing compared to what a Cancer sufferer has to enjure on a daily basis. This I know as both my mother and father fought mighty battles with this disease. 

Please join me on this journey as with each slide and pound raised, together we will get closer to the end goal. 

Donating to my justgiving page is easy just follow this link: 


Alternatively just text SWLK66 with your donation amount £2/£5/£10 to 70070 

Even if you can't donate please share these links with others. All donations will go directly to Cancer Research. I have already paid for the expedition myself but want others to benefit from my dream of skiing to the South Pole. Wouldn't that be the greatest outcome of this journey?

Thank you for your continued support,

Em Tam xx 

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Swotting up on the Antarctic lingo πŸ˜€

Very soon I will be riding the jollie hoolie dingle and getting me some snotsicles, gombles and splode; but lets hope we dont get big eye or bolo! 

Blinkin great lingo .... Should keep me entertained....  

But for now, its time for a grumble bucket.... before going through the kit list again .... 

Thursday, 8 October 2015


Going to classical gigs are such a regular occurance these days that seldom do they reach the wall. Sometimes, performances just stand out just a little bit more than the rest. Tonight was one of them. 

Philharmonia Orchestra with Rafael Payare the conductor and Daniil Trifonov playing the piano

Rachmaninov Piano Concerto Cycle .... Stunning, breathtaking and magical πŸ˜€