Newport explorer Richard Parks has gruelling spell in Antarctic
10:10am Tuesday 15th January 2013 in Gwent news
ADVENTURER Richard Parks suffered a gruelling weekend in his quest to reach the South Pole.
The former Newport Gwent Dragons rugby player is currently 28 days into the 745-mile solo trip.
If he is successful in reaching the pole he will become the first Welshman to ski solo, unsupported and unassisted to the South Pole.
Parks, who is publishing a blog of his trip, described Sunday’s stint of the journey as “savage”.
He told fans: “Was a brutal day. I felt like I was wrestling with my pulk, with my mind, with my body, every metre of the 27.1km/16 miles I did yesterday.”
Newport man Parks spoke of the difficulties he has faced with sastrugi, sharp ridges in the snow caused by wind erosion which make it difficult to ski over.
Instead, he has to take his skis off and drag his pulk over them so as not to damage his kit or skis, making it hugely energy-sapping and slow work.
Parks told readers: “I had a couple of falls yesterday as well but I am fine. I was more worried about my skis and equipment but they are fine too.
“I skied for nine and a half hours but I was actually out for over 11 hours. My GPS tells me time moving and time I’ve been out.
“Legs are feeling heavy, just been stretching them and now I am gonna get going today.
“A positive that came out of yesterday was that I crossed the 87th degree and despite being totally shattered I was really satisfied last night.”
You can keep up with his journey or send your support to Richard on Twitter @Richardparks