Christian Eide: [During the expedition], I didn't feel lonely once, just 'wow, I'm lucky to be here'.
courtesy Latitude Expeditions (over Contact 5), SOURCE
Nobody from the [South Pole] station is allowed to have contact with expedition people, and they have moved the original camp site 1 km away.
Image by Christian Eide courtesy Latitude Expeditions (live over Contact 5), SOURCE
ExWeb interview with record speed skier Christian Eide: "Next time I'll bring the folks at the South Pole base a present"

Posted: Jan 18, 2011 06:37 pm EST
Where most people look for easy paths, some choose the hard ones, seeking to find their deepest power and potential.

Shattering the previous South Pole solo ski record, Christian Eide told ExWebs Correne Coetzer that there is no easy way to chase this rabbit. Over Contact 5 from the Pole, he discussed what he could have done different, what contributed to his success, and the unfriendly welcome that he - actually an engineer himself - got at the SP base.

ExplorersWeb: How did you feel, arriving at the South Pole?

Christian: Very tired; I had been skiing for the last 30 hours.

ExplorersWeb: Who were there to welcome you?

Christian: I met a Swedish scientist. Finally, when he was going to give me the arrival note - the NSF (National Science Foundation - US) gave him an order to leave me outside the station. Unfriendly? Yes!

ExplorersWeb: So how did it feel to see people again?

Christian: The first three people I met were Ronny Finsås and two of his clients. I woke them up early in the morning, they seemed a bit confused. Fantastic to meet them all.

ExplorersWeb: What did you experience as most strange at the South Pole after being only surrounded by snow and your sled and tent?

Christian: The unfriendly atmosphere at the NSF at the South Pole Station. Nobody from the station is allowed to have contact with expedition people, and they have moved the original camp site 1 km away.

ExplorersWeb: What were the worst experiences of your expedition?

Christian: Apart from the NSF at the Pole, one day I had to stop skiing earlier in the afternoon because of a strong wind and bad visibility.

ExplorersWeb: You said before you left you had slept only one night alone before, how was it being alone for nearly 25 days?

Christian: I didn't feel lonely once, just 'wow, I'm lucky to be here'.

ExplorersWeb: Was there anything you thought you could have done different or could have brought with or could have left at home?

Christian: I didn't stop to eat lunch, so the noodles were wasted. Next time I will bring a gift to the NSF; I feel sorry for them, being constantly in bad mood.

ExplorersWeb: What were your best experiences?

Christian: Those days when I woke up totally fresh after a long hard day the day before.

ExplorersWeb: What went through your thoughts while you were skiing? Did you listen to books/music?

Christian: In the beginning I listened, but in the end - no. I had harmony, so no need for it.

ExplorersWeb: What contributed most to your success; what was your biggest strength?

Christian: Except for the two Greenland crossings last year and good equipment; several long days (8-10 hours) pulling tires at home.

ExplorersWeb: What is the biggest lesson you have learned?

Christian: There is no easy way if you are going to achieve a 'hairy' goal.

ExplorersWeb: Was there any time that you thought this goal was too ambitious?

Christian: Hmmm, from my experience I knew skiing solo to the Pole was not going to be a problem. Actually, I was pretty sure I was going to make at least 40 km per day.

ExplorersWeb: Anything else?

Christian: I got great expedition support from ALE. A special thanks to the meteorologist, Mark de Keyser.

ExplorersWeb: Future plans?

Christian: I'll be back at the end of the year with Ousland and Ebbesen Expeditions 1911-2011 South Pole Jubilee expedition.

Christian Eide was born in 1975 and lives in Oslo Norway. He has a Masters degree in Engineering, is an expedition leader and owner of an adventure company, Latitude AS

Apart from his 9 Greenland crossings and other ice field expeditions he was leader of a record breaking Norwegian South Pole expedition who skied from the Messner (Ronne-Filchner Ice shelf) Start in 24 days 8 hours and 50 minute and averaged a very fast 36.87 km/day.

Christian has also climbed mountains: Denali/ Mt McKinley, Mt Vinson, Cho Oyu (no oxygen, no Sherpa), Kilimanjaro x 6, Elbrus x 2, Huscaran, Aconcagua via Polish Glacier, Carstensz Pyramid, Pequeno Alpahamyo, Condorriri, Anchohuma, and more.

During this 2010-11 Antarctic season Christian Eide has climbed Mount Vinson (summit December 8) and skied the Last Degree (110 km) to the South Pole (arrival December 15). On December 20, 2010, 7.30 the morning, Eide set off from the coast at 80°S on a solo speed attempt along the classic Hercules Inlet route on Antarctica; unassisted, unsupported (no resupplies, no kite-support); 1130 km as the crow flies.

On January 13, 2010, 24 days, 1 hour and 13 minutes later he arrived at the Geographic South Pole (90°S); breaking the world solo speed ski record with 15 days, 6 hours and 36 minutes and averaging 46.98 km/day. See details in the links below the image.

Other links:

CONTACT 5 expedition technology

Polar rules of Adventure
What is solo?
Hercules Inlet start point

Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE/ANI)
The Antarctic Company (TAC/ALCI)

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