(Angela Benavides) Several kiting teams reached the South Pole and Hercules Inlet on Scott's South Pole centenary yesterday. Those still out there are pushing hard before the season folds.
Larramendi's wind-powered sled: 3,500 km later
Ramon Larramendi, Ignacio Oficialdegui, Juan Pablo Albar and Javier Selva finished a 3,500km-long Antarctic traverse on board their customized wind-powered catamaran/sled, pulled by a range of kites in sizes up to 80m2.
After being flown from Novo Base to the Polar Plateau, the team assembled the sledge and set off from S 72º 48' 08'', E 5º 07' 96'' on Dec 2. They reached the South Pole on January 1st, and finished at Hercules Inlet exactly 100 years after Scott reached the Pole. The team posted a tribute to the British explorer on YouTube:
Larramendi hopes his sledge, designed and improved on over a decade and several expeditions, has proved a useful, green and cheap transportation alternative at Antarctica.
British military in Scott's footprints: 100 years later, sharp
Lugging all the way from Scott's original starting point at Cape Evans; Vic Vicary, Mark Langridge and Kev Johnson - a k a the Scott Group in the British military Scott-Amundsen race - reached the Pole yesterday, precisely 100 years after their predecesor.
Coming in from the Norwegian original kickoff at Bay of Whales, the "Amundsen team" members had finished their quest a few days before.
Mused the project organizers: "Mother Nature smiled upon our three heroes, who join our other two brave chaps, Henry and Lou, at 90 degrees south on this most poignant of days – the Scott Centenary."
Richard Weber: Done!
Canadian Polar legend Richard Weber and his client Michael Archer (NZ) finished their 2000-km long Messner start-SP-HI crossing yesterday. "They sounded absolutely exhausted on the phone – their last day, they kited 150 km, and 200 km the day before," the Weber Artic home team reported.
The two skiers had reached the Pole as part of a larger group. After getting a resupply, Richard and Michael kited back to HI.
Pole to pole
Picking the most convenient side of reality, in a recent video Pat Farmer said he is altitude sick and that his quest is harder than that of others:
“Everyone is thinking in terms of the way things are normally done, but nothing in my life has ever been normal and I’m not normal, I don’t do normal things and this is not a normal environment," he stated. "So consequently I am used to push myself to absolute limits. This is why most skiers and most people doing these trek only do 30 k’s tops per day. We do 70 km per day. ”
The skiers Pat refers to drag sleds twice their size, set their own camps, melt their snow, cook their food and deal with a host of tasks that, in Pat's case, are "delegated" to a support team and a turbo-diesel truck following the politician's every step.
Johan E. Nilson was 140km away fromt he Pole yesterday and hoped to reach the mark later that day if winds picked up.
Felicity Aston: almost there
Felicity hopes to reach the coast within 9 days. "At that point, she will officially become the first woman to traverse Antarctica alone," her home team said. Felicity got a resupply at the pole which disqualifies her quest as Solo.
Novo traverses: some movement
In the final stage of their Novo - POI - SP - HI kite-traverse, Eric McNair-Landry and Sebastian Copeland covered 71km yesterday. "We are now 714 kilometers from Hercules Inlet and have eight days to close it," Sebastian calculated.
Belgians Dixie Dansercoer and Sam Deltour were also finally "freed from the hole" they had been stuck in for lack of wind. 123 km on tricky terrain was covered yesterday. In 58 days, the guys have covered 3565.4 km.
Antarctica/SP - General facts:
Gateway port Cape Town, South Africa:
To ALCI/TAC base camp Novolazarevskaya / Novo
(70o 46'37S", 011o 49'26"E)
Gateway port Punta Arenas, Chile, South America:
To ALE/ANI base camp, Union Glacier
(79o 45'S, 083o 14'W).
Gateway port Punta Christchurch, New Zealand:
To US base McMurdo
(77o 50'39"S, 166o 40'22"E)
1 nautical mile (nm) = 1.852 km
1 nm = 1.151 statute mile
1 knot = 1.852 km/h
1 degree of Latitude is 110 km
Sastrugi are hard snow bumps and can be as high as 10 feet.
A nunatak is a peak of a mountain rising above the ice cap; sometimes covered with snow, sometimes exposed rock.
CONTACT 5 expedition technology
Polar rules of Adventure
What is solo?
Hercules Inlet start point
2011-12 Guidelines for NGO Visitors to the South Pole Station
South Pole Station news (Bill Spindler)
Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE)
Adventure Network International (ANI)
The Antarctic Company (TAC/ALCI)
Wx7 observations at Union Glacier
Amundsen's & Scott's diaries
Amundsen's book, "The South Pole"
Amundsen's diary courtesy Fram Museum
Amundsen pix, courtesy Fram Museum
Space research expedition dispatches
ANSMET Meteorite hunters
List of Links to Antarctica 2011-12 teams
Classifications: Unassisted (no airdrops), unsupported (no kites/dogs/motor).
Hercules Inlet - SP - Hercules Inlet
Aleksander Gamme, Norway (solo)
Australian James Castrission and Justin Jones (Cas & Jonesy - return)
Byrony Balen (With PolarExplorers)
Bay of Whales and Cape Evans - SP
British Army Scott-Amundsen Race 2011-12 - Amudsen team led by Henry Worsley from Bay of Whales
British Army Scott-Amundsen Race 2011-12 - Scott team led by Mark Langridge, from Cape Evans
Ross Ice Shelf - SP - Hercules Inlet
The South Pole Jubilee Expedition - latitude Expeditions
Felicity Aston, UK (solo)
Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf - SP - traverse to H.I.
Richard Weber & team (kite traverse)
Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf - SP
Assisted (airdrops), supported (kites)
Pole to Pole Run Pat Farmer
Novolazarevskaya - SP - traverses
Dixie Dansercoer and Sam Deltour
Eric McNair-Landry and Sebastian Copeland
Larramendi's Acciona Antartida
Novolazarevskaya - SP (kites)
Johan Ernst Nilson
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