The ‘top of fly-netting open’ solution was definitely a winner, working again despite our tent being kind of in the wind and it being another really cold night. That morning a man in full snow camo with a rifle casually walked past us without a word.
From the start it was clear it wasn’t going to be a good day. Arjuns blisters were so bad they were causing him to limp, causing a knee to hurt, and Kierans heel had turned from a painful step to almost constant agony whilst walking, which created a severe limp, also causing knee pains.
We didn’t walk past a single place to stop, and other than an over-enthusiastic man waving at us from a van, no one stopped to talk to us. Stopping for any period of time just made starting again all the more painful, and so, like two old men, we staggered, stumbled and limped all day until by the time it was getting dark we had covered a slow 22km, possibly the first day we had hit our distance target.
Tired, hungry, dehydrated and in quite a lot of pain, we set up camp on flat ground and then sat down to eat snow. Arjun tried out our gel hand warmers, but after less than two minutes they had gone from luke-warm to cold, so we filled our water bottles with snow and suffered a cold night of no sleep trying to melt them inside our sleeping bags.
We needed to address the situation we were in in a sensible way, the cold had somehow reduced us to shambling messes, and in spite of our optimism, we were seriously looking at not making our target on time if we continued in our current state.