Polar Wrap-up: Antarctica kiting record: 311km/24h

Posted: Dec 19, 2005 11:58 am EST

(ThePoles.com) Rune has spent two days stuck with no wind to power the kites, dreaming about a farm. The Spaniards broke all records Saturday, covering 193 miles on their kite-sled. They also seem to have their coordinates right - Scott institute are updating theirs. The Spaniards were first at the new Pole of Inaccessibilty.

Meanwhile, teams are coming and going on Vinson and surrounding mountains. Planes between PH and BC enjoy good conditions.

Antarctic crossing teams

Runes solo Antarctic crossing: Dreaming about a farm

Rune had a standstill over the weekend, due to lack of wind. He passed the down time in his tent, daydreaming about the new farm he is going to buy with his girlfriend when he returns from Antarctica.

Spanish trans-Antarctic expedition: 311km in one day!

Ramon Larramendi and team have beaten the daily-distance record on Antarctica previously held by Alain Hubert, who covered 271 km in one day in 1997, reported the Trans-Antarctic expeditions home team.

The Spaniards managed to cover 311 on their kite-sled, in a 24 non stop run, on Saturday. Yesterday they made a nice distance too: 213 km in 12 hours. The team hopes to reach Vostok base between tomorrow and Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the guys seems to have their coordinates right. In an email from the Scott institute to the team, the institute writes "In response to your enquiry we will alter the coordinates given on our site, as they are now out of date."

South Pole teams

Norwegian Hvitserks SP teams: Hungry!

The teams are marching at good speed it is just a pity they cannot afford to rest, or eat as much as we would want to. Inges team reached the half point on their way to the Pole on Friday, after covering a record distance of 31.14 km in 7.5 hours. However, the tough going on Saturday weighed heavily on an already tired team.

Cecilie and Rolfs team progressed among monster-sastrugi (2.5 meter high) and open crevasses. By the end of the day all they could think of was on how hungry they were.

Proyecto Cumbre: 400km done

Were still enjoying this great weather period, and decent terrain," reported the team. "After 23 km tough going, when we decided to set up camp, we couldnt find smooth ground for the tents, so that we had to work with she shovels and dig flat platforms. Weve covered 400 km since we started our trip. (Compare this to the kiters who did 300 km in one day!).

Antarctica climbing teams

Omega Foundation: Going for Gardner

Yesterday we were picked up from our BC beneath Mt Craddock, where we spent so many bad weather days, and flew to our new BC out from Mt Gardner - with a quick stop at Vinson BC to change planes, re-stock fuel and food and even have a quick chat with Dave Hahn, who (in addition to summiting Vinson 25 times) was the last person to stand on the summit of Gardner, back in 1999 with Conrad Anker.

So we're now set up 5km out to the west of Mt Gardner, in a great flat spot with amazing views of the Sentinel Range. Today we sledged 20 days of food and fuel, plus our climbing hardware, over to a site for our ABC right beneath the gully we will climb, at the northern (left) end of the west face. Tomorrow, weather permitting, we move camp over there and start to climb. Not far from our site is the cache from the 1966-67 American Antarctic Mountaineering Expedition, led by Nick Clinch that made the first ascents of so many of these peaks back then: 40 year old chewing gum, chocolate, matches, frozen dried meals and peanut butter, all bought in Christchurch, New Zealand back in 1966.

Whos the fourth tallest here?

We've also found the USGS plate from the 1979-80 survey expedition, on a small knoll between our camp and the west face that is marked on the map as a geodetic satellite station of 2316m. Camilo is currently over there running the GPS to see eventually how these data compares to theirs. Finding these little bits of history really adds something to being here.

So we're just hoping for this great weather to hold a few more days so we can get ABC established and then up that gully to the summit ridge. We're expecting Gardner to be much closer in height to its published figure of 4587m, not a lot lower, like Craddock was (282m lower!). At the moment, after the Craddock re-measuring, Gardner is 4th on the list, but Mt. Kirkpatrick, way over in the Trans-Antarctic range, is supposedly 4582m, so Gardner can't afford to lose much if it wants to retain 4th place!

Alpine Ascents Vinson team: Still waiting in C1

AAs second team on Vinson was the only one to remain in High camp after summiting on Thursday. The climbers where resting for one day on the col between Vinson and Mt. Shinn considering the option of summiting the latter before returning home.

Vern Tejas team reached the South Pole after skiing the last degree most part of the team had put on their skis and set off for the Poles right after summiting Vinson two weeks ago.

Runes website

Spanish Trans-Antarctic expedition Larramendis site (Spanish/English)

Norwegian Hvitserks SP teams dispatches

Hvitserks expeditions (Norwegian)

Proyecto Cumbre SP expedition (Spanish)

Omega Foundation - Antarctica 2005

Arios Alone Across Alaska (Italian)

Airborne Ranger Club of Finland NP expedition (Finnish)

Alpine Ascents International

7Summits Club Vinson team

Rune had a standstill over the weekend, due to lack of wind. He passed the down time in his tent, daydreaming about the new farm he is going to buy with his girlfriend when he returns from Antarctica. Live image of Rune showing a drawing of the farm, over Contact 3.0 courtesy of Rune (click to enlarge).
"Yesterday, Rune decided to change his underwear," reported his home team. "He has used the same pair of underwear for 43 days, and after this time the underwear has to be disposed as dangerous goods. So Rune dressed up in his protective clothes and placed the underwear together with the used lithium batteries and other dangerous stuff." Live image over Contact 3.0 courtesy of Rune (click to enlarge).
Weather is good and terrain is alright. However, the Venezuelan South Pole team had to spend some time leveling the ground before pitching the tent. Live image over Contact 3.0 courtesy of Proyecto Cumbre (click to enlarge).
Omega Foundation team-members Manuel, Camilo and Steve leave camp for the west face of Mt Gardner, 5km away. Image courtesy of the team (click to enlarge).

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