(Updated finish photograph 2:37 pm) Cecilie and Ryan completed one of the most remarkable expeditions in polar history.
They crossed Antarctica with no outside assistance and no kites and arrived today at the edge of the continent where the Axel Heiberg Glacier meets the sea ice of the Ross Ice Shelf. On 13 November 2009 they started from the edge of Berkner Island, crossed the sea ice, got on the mainland and headed for the South Pole and beyond.
Cecilie Skog and Ryan Waters
Berkner Island Start
Here goes their press release:
American and Norwegian explorers write new chapter in polar history
by Bjørn Sekkeseter, 21 January 2010
First unsupported crossing of Antarctica ever.
Nearly a century after Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole in 1911, American Ryan Waters, 36, and Norwegian Cecilie Skog. 35, are set to achieve the first unassisted crossing of Antarctica.
Previous crossings have used wind power to ski-sail across the earths southernmost continent. By using only their own muscle power, the pair will write a new chapter in Antarctic history.
Waters, from Boulder, Colorado, and Skog from Stavanger, western Norway, two of the most accomplished explorers of their generation, began the expedition seventy days ago on November 13, 2009, at Berkner Island.
They skied via the South Pole, which they reached on Dec. 31. They complete their journey, arriving at the Ross Ice Shelf today, Thursday, January 21.
They are to be met by plane, and will return to Patriot Hills. From there they will fly back via Chile (Punta Arenas) and return to the United States and Norway in early February.
Skog was the first woman to summit the tallest peaks on all seven continents, and reach both the North and South Poles (unassisted and unsupported).
On the journey across Antarctica, Waters and Skog have walked about 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles), experienced temperatures as low as minus 45 degrees Celsius and been blasted by storms of up to 45 knots.
When they started, their sledges weighed around 135 kg (or around 300 pounds) each. From 80 meters (260 feet) above sea level, they have climbed to an altitude of up to 3,200 meters (10,500 feet) as they crossed the Antarctic, before descending back to sea level on the opposite side of the continent.
This is what Tom Sjøgren at Explorersweb.com says about this achievement:
"The first unassisted and unsupported expedition to cross Antarctica. Unassisted and unsupported is the highest form of self-reliance and indicates no help with kites, dogs etc and no received outside help such as resupplies. A "raw" crossing like this has only been done once before across the Arctic Ocean by Rune Gjeldnes and Torry Larsen, and never on Antarctica." END
Check Adventure Stats in the links section below the image for definitions.
ExWeb interview with Cecilie Skog, Rolf is gone. But not my dreams and I hold on to those dreams really tight
ExWeb interview with Ryan Waters, I have discovered that the polar pioneers were unbelievably determined and adventurous
Links to ski teams:
Cecilie Skog and Ryan Waters (Norway and USA) Berkner Island Start and beyond the South Pole
Meagan McGrath (Canada) Patriot Hills (finished)
Morten Grundsøe and Jens Erik Nielsen (Denmark) Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf / Messner Start (Finished)
ANI Hercules Inlet team Eric Larsen (guide, USA), Dongsheng Liu (Canada) and Bill Hanlon (Ireland/Canada) (Finished)
Julio Fiadi (Brazil), Hercules Inlet Start, no updates
Kaspersky Commonwealth team Felicity Aston (United Kingdom, leader), Dk Najibah Eradah binti P. A. M. Al-Sufri Pg M-L Kahar or Era (Brunei Darussalam), Stephanie Solomonides (Cyprus), Helen Turton (UK), Reena Kaushal Dharmshaktu (India), Kylie Wakelin (New Zealand) and Sophia Pang (Singapore) Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf / Messner Start (Finished)
ANI Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf team Hannah McKeand (guide, UK) and Arnold Witzig (Swiss/Canada) (Finished)
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