Two teams have just landed on Antarcticas Queen's Maud Land: Norwegian Rune Gjeldnes and Spaniards Ramon Larramendi, Ignacio Oficialdegui and Juanma Viu. Both expeditions are facing Antarctic crossings, and are now getting ready at the Novolasarevskaja science station. Image of Rune and the pilots of the plane who took him from Cape Town, SA, live over Contact 3.0 (Click to enlarge).
Rune landed in Antarctica ahead of schedule this morning, and has spent the day preparing the sledge, loading all the equipment and test communications, reported his home team yesterday. Image live over Contact 3.0 courtesy of Rune Gjeldnes (click to enlarge).
Antarctic crossing teams on their marks - Rune starting today!

Posted: Nov 04, 2005 04:35 pm EST
Antarctic expedition season is on! Two teams have landed on Antarcticas Queen's Maud Land: Norwegian Rune Gjeldnes and Spaniards Ramon Larramendi, Ignacio Oficialdegui and Juanma Viu. Both expeditions are facing Antarctic crossings, and are now getting ready to go at the Novolasarevskaja science station.

Rune is off for a skiing kite ride covering 4600 km, approximately 800 km longer than the previous skiing expedition record. He is going solo and without air drops.

Rune starting today!

Rune landed in Antarctica ahead of schedule this morning, and has spent the day preparing the sledge, loading all the equipment and test communications, reported his home team yesterday. He also had time to recon the area around the base, and to take a closer look at the sector towards the South Pole. The weather was beautiful with a clear sky, - 18C and perfect wind for kiting.

He was almost tempted to start skiing today, buy reconsidered as he needed to do some more equipment testing and modify a few details on the equipment before departure. The wheather forecast for tomorrow is not as good as today, but Rune will spent the first night in Antarctica in his tent tonight and most likely start the journey in the morning.

The Spaniards weapon: A Kite-sledge

The Spaniards are also checking the weather forecasts in their tent by the Russian base. They also hope to do a record-distance traverse, although they wont be crossing via South Pole, but through Eastern Antarctica passing by the South Geomagnetic pole and the South Pole of Inaccessibility.

Also going without resupplies, they will use a large kite-powered sledge, loaded with with gear, fuel and food for 85 days, communications and filming equipment, a set of 8 kites and of course, the three expedition members. In favorable wind conditions, the team hopes to travel non-stop for many hours, taking shifts to rest, eat and pilot the kites. On the smoothest sections of the Antarctic plains we could easily cover 500 km in one single day, wind permitting, team leader Ramón told ExplorersWeb before departing.

Race for the record distance?

The Spaniards plan to cover a total distance of 4500km slightly less than Rune. However, Larramendi stated they have no fixed finish point, the end of the expedition pending logistic issues.

Both teams will be sending live dispatches and images over Contact 3.0. Definitely, an exciting start for Antarctica 2005 season!

In the year of 2000, Rune Gjeldnes and Torry Larsen set out to cross the Arctic ocean. Starting out in Russia, they entered the ice in pitch blackness of the Arctic winter.

What followed was an epic journey. In the end, the guys had lost their sleds, gear and everything else really, and were finally picked up close to Canada's land wearing only a backpack. The doctor's of a small research station that examined them on arrival said that Rune and Torry were only 48 hours away from death. They had been out for 109 days.

Ramón Larramendi is leading a three-man team on a 4500km traverse across Eastern Antarctica, riding a large kite-powered sled. After years of testing and improving the sled, Ramon is ready and convinced, It is fast, endurable, powerful, maneuverable, and clean, he told Explorersweb.

Tested in four Greenland traverses, the sled's - and Ramon's - ultimate goal is to complete the longest Antarctic un-motorized traverse ever, without resupplies.


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