11 Steps More: The Life-Changing Lesson I Learned from an Antarctic Explorer

At a local charity event a while back, I had the privilege of listening to British Explorer Louis Rudd recount tales of his adventures in the Antarctic. 

He was the first British person to ski solo across Antarctica, and the 2nd overall, only just getting beat by a couple of days by American, Colin O'Brady.

As well as that, he's the only person to have traversed Antarctica twice using human power alone, and has reached the South Pole three times from different coastal start points. 

Now Louis is not exactly a household name but after reading about his expeditions and his 34 years in the Royal Marines and SAS, as well as listening to him speak, he's an absolute legend and came out with some cracking pieces of advice.

One, in particular, stood out and came about when he was talking about Captain Scott or Scott of the Antarctic as you may know him. 
Scott famously led 2 expeditions to the Antarctic regions and it was the second of these in 1912 where he went against Roald Amundsen where he sadly lost his life.

Louis recounted the story of Scott when he finally reached the South Pole 5 weeks after Amundsen and on the return journey from the South Pole to their base camp, he sadly lost his life with all of his men.

The tent, which was to become their eternal tomb was roughly only 12.5 miles from the next depot which would have had food and provisions and could have potentially saved their lives. 
So close yet the weather, which was so severe at the time, it had forced them to camp for days and days.

That's when Louis talked about '11 Steps more'.

It was calculated that if Scott and his team had walked an additional 11 steps each day of their trek from the South Pole, this would have made up the 12.5 miles back to safety.

It's crazy thinking about that, isn't it? 
11 Steps feels so easy to achieve from the comfort of our own home but each step in those atrocious conditions and the biting cold must have been a challenge in itself.

Louis mentioned that something he now does and more of a ritual is that it doesn't matter how tired or exhausted he is on an expedition but that he now always walks an additional 11 steps after each day.

Just 'That little bit further'.

This got me thinking about what it's like trekking or climbing at altitude. 
Each step can be a challenge at times. If the weather is bad, and the wind gets up it can feel a bit like a polar expedition at times ehh.

Now I know, with the trips we run, it definitely takes more than 11 steps but just that thought process on going that 'Little bit further', the resolve to push on even more so when it gets tough. It could be the difference between getting there or not getting there.

It certainly got me thinking about my next adventure and that sometimes we can get a bit overwhelmed when faced with big challenges but if we broke it down into chunks.

Much like the 12.5 miles broken down into 11 steps each day.

Now that seems way more achievable, doesn't it?

So imagine your next trip. It could be Machu PicchuEverest base camp, it could be Kilimanjaro, it could be a trip to climb your local mountain.

Whatever the challenge is, think about how could you break that down into smaller chunks in your mind that would make it seem a lot easier.

Then that little bit further doesn't seem like much at all ehh. 

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Written By

Andy Moore

Head Yeti & CEO