Todd Carmichael has become the first American to cross Antarctica to the South Pole alone, on foot and with no assistance. And he did it in record time. Image live over Contact 4.0 courtesy of Todd's website.
American Todd Carmichael bags South Pole speed record

Posted: Dec 23, 2008 05:51 am EST
(ThePoles.com) Todd Carmichael has become the first American to cross Antarctica to the South Pole alone, on foot and with no assistance. And he did it in record time.

Todd's total travel time was 39 days, 7 hours and 49 minutes. Hannah did it in 39 days, 9 hours and 33 minutes.

In a sat phone call to his US BC, Todd clarified his start and finish time as follows:

START Nov 12, 2008 10.15 UTC-3
END Dec 21, 2008 18.04 UTC-3

Starting points

Todd was carrying an Iridium tracker with built in GPS to verify his positions.

Todd's starting point was 79.99989S, 79.63593W
Hannah's starting point was 79.9833S, 80.06833W

Todd started one hour behind Teemu (Finland) to make sure that their respective solo status would not be compromised.

Time

Todd followed UTC -3hours (or Punta Arenas, Chile summer time).

GMT = Greenwich Mean Time
UTC = Coordinated Universal Time is based on International Atomic Time (TAI)
ZULU = Time system used in aviation and often at Antarctica
GMT = UTC = ZULU

An important reason for using GMT/UTC/ZULU is that they are not affected by daylight saving time.

How close was it?

The difference between Todd and Hannah is 1 hour and 44 minutes - or less than 0.2% of the time on the ice.

If the same difference was applied to a 100 meter dash, it would equal less than 0.02 seconds - just barely measurable with modern time keeping.



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