Richard Parks South Pole ski: game over

Posted: Jan 25, 2013 03:56 pm EST

(Newsdesk) Richard has aborted his ski to the South Pole, he announced on January 25th.

His plan was to ski to the Pole in 35 days when he ran out of food with still 220 km to go to the Pole. He received a resupply and had 6 days to get to the Pole as the season is closing down.

The resupply made a big difference to his morale, he stated. With an "awesome food fest" of coke, pizza, Fuizion deserts, crisps, and other treats from the ANI chefs at Union Glacier the previous night, Richard skied for 10 hours 15 minutes and covered miles.

Yesterday, he said, his “back in the game” was short lived. "I skied for 3 hours yesterday covering 4.27km. My 30km day on Wednesday, which seemed really promising for everyone including myself, was considerably tougher than any other 30km day I had done on the expedition so far."

"This environment is unforgiving and hostile," he added, "one of the most hostile on the planet and being able to operate but make clear decisions at the same time, especially on a solo expedition is non-negotiable."

The sastrugi in 87 degrees was a big challenge for him, "I was in a good system and place until I hit the epic sastrugi. Everyone else has had to go through this just the same as me, there are no excuses, but I had to fight for every meter."

He also said during the last few days his body has taken a significant turn for the worse. "My mouth is full of ulcers and even though I have had fantastic food from Fuizion and have taken my daily vitamin and mineral supplements which are also in my daily food bag, my body is run down to a point where I have not been before."

With the race against the clock he says on Day 39, "I simply have run out of time."

A "solo" ski implies unassisted status (no resupplies carried by pilots or car drivers, or anything supplies received from any person) and no following of vehicle tracks (vehicle drivers navigating the way).

The Hercules Inlet route starts at 80°S and covers a distance of 1130 km in a straight line to the Geographic South Pole at 90°S.
The start point at the Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf (Messner route) covers a distance of 890 km in a straight line to the Geographic South Pole at 90°S.

1 nautical mile (nm) = 1.852 km
1 nm = 1.151 miles
1 knot = 1.852 km/h
1 degree of Latitude is 110 km / 60 nm / 70 miles
Sastrugi are hard snow bumps and can be as high as 10 feet
A nunatak is a top of a mountain visible above the snow surface.

South Pole of Inaccessibility 2011-12 position:
S82°06.696, E055°01.951
Geographic South Pole: 90 degrees South

Gateway port Cape Town, South Africa:
To ALCI base camp Novolazarevskaya / Novo
(70° 46’37”S, 011° 49’26”E).
Gateway port Punta Arenas, Chile, South America:
To ALE/ANI base camp, Union Glacier
(79° 45'S, 083° 14'W).
Gateway port Christchurch, New Zealand:
To USA science station McMurdo, and other
(77°50'39"S, 166°40'22"E)


Antarctica ski: Aaron Linsdau at the South Pole

ExWeb interview with Roland Krueger at the South Pole, "I even had to crawl at times"

ExWeb interview with Richard Parks, "it took pretty much every bit of physical and mental energy"

Expeditions/adventures/projects with RSS feeds can be followed in the live Dispatch stream at the Pythom App for iPhone and on Android as well as at ExplorersWeb.

ExplorersWeb South Pole Expedition List

AdventureStats Polar Statistics

South Pole speed record special: Polar Express - leaving from where, exactly?

AdventureStats Special: What is Solo?

Polar Rules of Adventure

NOAA South Pole Live Camera



Richard: "Wednesday night in my tent I was looking at my map and the numbers, my heart began to sink with the reality of the situation."
courtesy Richard Parks, SOURCE

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