(By Correne Coetzer) Spaniard, Juan Menendez Granados, and his fatbike reached the South Pole on January 17th, solo, unassisted and unsupported, after traveling 1130 km in 46 days from Hercules Inlet (80ºS); a route not groomed for biking. The last week, when he ran out of food, and weather and snow conditions turned worse, Juan showed how much he wanted to be the first to reach the Geographic South Pole with a bicycle, without assistance or support.
He was determined to pull all his food, fuel and gear on a sled from the start to the end and travel without any cars driving with for support or navigation. The last week tested the affirmations he repeated to himself during the two years of preparation; fearless, resilience, fight, adversity, constancy, perseverance, concentration, determination. Juan survived only on a mix of leftover nuts, cocoa powder and sunflower oil. On top of that, he travelled 15 hours per day, cycling most of the time, and slept only 4 to 5 hours.
The second last day was a long day, said his Norwegian home team to ExWeb, and he camped 20 km from the South Pole (90ºS), “he is actually pretty sad it is going to be over, but he will love some food.”
Today his Spanish home team reported to ExWeb, a tired and excited Juan has reached the Pole last night, January 17th, Chilean time, the time zone the Hercules Inlet adventurers use.
The two years preceding the time Antarctica was a rough ride in itself. The young Spaniard fought a battle to get on the ice. He was doing two jobs every day to get money and eventually, at the last minute, decided to borrow money to make up the balance. In between the jobs he had to make time to practice and stay fit as well.
At sixteen Juan did his first cycle trip and, at the time, what was at first a hobby, became his way of life. To date, apart from the South Pole cycle, he has cycled more than 25,800 km and his dream was, "the greatest challenge of it all", he said, to cycle solo to the South Pole; that is without any help.
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2013 South Pole teams
Vesa Luomala, FI, Hercules Inlet, solo
Antony Jinman, UK, Hercules Inlet, solo, completed
Marty and Chris Fagan, USA, Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf start
Juan Menendez Granados, ES, Hercules Inlet, solo cycle
Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere, UK, UK/FR, Cape Evans return journey
Daniel Burton, USA, Hercules Inlet, cycle
Devon McDiarmid (CA, ANI guide), Joshua Hodgkinson (AU), and Wen Yuan (China), Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf [Update Jan. 02:50 EDT correction: Arabella Slinger, is not part of Devon’s team as previously stated. ANI reported to ExWeb that she suffered an injury prior and is not in the team guided by Devon.] completed
ANSMET meteorite hunters 2013-14
Aleksander Gamme, Espen Fadnes, Kjersti Eide, Jonas Langseth, Andy Kirkpatrick and Ingeborg Jakobsen.
Australian Mawson Centenary Expedition Spirit of Mawson website
AAE 2013-2014 Interpret Science website [Rescued]
Gateway port Cape Town, South Africa:
To ALCI /TAC 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
Hercules Inlet is located at 80°S near Union Glacier, 1130 km from the Geographic South Pole.
The bottom of the Leverett Glacier, at the Ross Ice Shelf, is located at about 85ºS, a distance of 550 km from the Geographic South Pole.
The Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf (Messner) start is 890 km in a straight line from the Pole.
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:
Geographic South Pole: 90 degrees South
A "solo" ski requires an unassisted status (therefore no supplies carried by pilots or car drivers, or anything received from any person).
#polar #southpole2013 #southpole2013-14 #antarctica #JuanMenendezGranados
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