Nipped: KZN teen now skidoos to pole

2012-01-21 00:00

NZUZO Mnikathi(19) will finish the 111 km trek across the South Pole on the back of the team skidoo.

This decision was taken yesterday after first degree frostbite in his left hand, nose and toes made it impossible for Mnikathi to carry on skiing.

Updating Weekend Witness from Antarctica yesterday, Mnikathi said his condition is making him even more determined to see this experience through to the end.

“The frostnip is really dangerous but there is no escape from the cold so you have to learn new skills to survive.

“The freezer training was good as it got me used to wearing my clothes, but nothing can prepare you for the cold here in Antarctica. It never goes away,” he said.

Mnikathi and the rest of the Unlimited Child South Pole Expedition team are set to complete their journey on Tuesday.

However, the freezing temperatures of 32 degrees below zero prove very challenging; this is apparent as Mnikathi describes a day in the South Pole. “I wake up around 6 am, but stay in my sleeping bag until 7 am as it is the warmest place to be. I sleep in two layers of clothing as my sleeping bag gets so hot.

“Due to the frostnip on my toes and fingers, I even sleep with my gloves on. One of the most difficult things is trying to get your sleeping bag, which is really puffy, into a small bag while wearing three layers of gloves,” he explained.

Mnikathi expressed his gratitude to everyone who has been cheering him on.

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