South Pole update: crevasse encounters

South Pole update: crevasse encounters

Posted: Nov 30, 2014 03:27 pm EST

 

(By Correne Coetzer) The sled is still holding together across sastrugi, according to the latest report. Both the traverse teams had encounters with crevasses. Other teams reported mixed weather.

 

 

Unassisted Supported

(no resupplies, wind-support)

 

Frédéric Dion (CA)

Solo, kite-ski Novo - South Pole of Inaccessibility

 

Emotions ran high in the Dion camp reported his home team. "He was scared. Scared that the kayak would explode on the sastrugi, scared of falling and getting hurt, scared because no plane could land on this part of the land in an emergency to get him…”

 

But Fred faced his fears and his sled was still holding as per his latest report on Nov. 28.

 

Day 18, Nov. 27, distance kited 130 km

S 80 34.014'  E 20 51.375'  elev 3047  

Day 19,  Nov 28, 63 km 

S 81 0.817'  E 23 2.190'  elev 3001

 

Faysal Hanneche (FR)

Solo traverse Novo - GSP - Hercules Inlet

 

Faysal’s patience gets tested with the lack of favorable kiting/sailing winds. He found himself in an area with crevasses, some of them as wide as a street he said on Nov. 28. Faysal had to face "extreme difficulties while sailing”; keeping control of the sail at high speed between crevasses. 

"At one point, I found myself on a narrow strip between two fissures and I admit I had a big scare."

 

Faysal said he had a beautiful view, looking at mountains with names like Mørk Nattel (Dark Night) and Wolftann (Wolf tooth).

 

Assisted Unsupported

(resupplies, no kites/sails)

 

Traverse Messner - GSP - Hercules Inlet

Stéphanie Gicquel (FR)

Jérémie Gicquel (FR) 

Are Johansen (NO) 

 

The team will be reaching their first resupply on November 30 (Day 17) at Thiels Corner and will take a rest day.

 

They sledge-hauled longer hours this past week; 8 to 9 hours a day. The couple reported, "Our regular expedition day starts at 6am with melting water, breakfast and putting down the tent, then ski and pull sledge all day with a 10 minute break every hour and a one hour lunch (we put up the tent). Then the evening is also about melting water, eating and sleeping – plus communication and usually some reading or writing.”

 

On Day 14 the team had to trekked west out of a crevassed area after contacting ANI for info about the area. They skied 8 km along a 10 m wide crevasse.

 

Their daily distances varied between 16 km (in white-out) and 28.3 km (15.3 nm). 

 

Nov. 29, 2014 according to Stephanie and Jeremie:

S 84° 50′ , W 80° 09′

Total distance covered : 339km

Temp: -25ºC (windchill : -37ºC)

 

Newall Hunter (UK, Messner to GSP)

 

Started skiing on November 25 when he was dropped off by ALE / Kenn Borek Twin Otter. Newall covered 11.5 km in 4.5 hours before setting up his first camp. The next day he increased his skiing hours to 9 hours and covered 22 km. Day 3 was a hard 23 km in 11 hours. "The first 10 hours was all sastrugi with bad light so no contrast on the snow.”

 

Day 4 was a white-out and he could make out shapes about 10 feet in front of his skis. "It plays strange games with your eyesight. I skied all day just looking down at my navigation compass and the tips of my skis. 20.5 km sledge-hauling in 10 hours skiing." The next day, Nov. 29”, Newall traveled 26.5 km clear skies.

 

Adventure Consultants team

Hercules Inlet route

Einar Torfi Finnsson (IS, guide)

Hugh Dougall (CA)

William (Bill) Morrison (UK)

Tim Garrett (AU)

 

The team does 7 hour skiing per day and covered 18.2, 14.2 and 22 km the past three days on the Hercules Inlet route. They have experienced white-out conditions. Einer reported on November 29 they are a bit disappointed about their progress. Their position then, Day 5, was S80°30'005 W080°26’548.

 

Today they reported there is a weather warning in place over the next few days with high winds which may mean a rest day for the team as they weather out the storm.

 

ANI Messner Route team 

Robert Smith (guide)

Paula J Reid (UK)

Arabella Slinger (UK)

Julian Thomas (UK)

Vincent Piguot (Switzerland)

 

The latest position on their tracker was Nov. 30

82º 59.90S. 067º 56.8W

Altitude: 437m

 

PolarExplorers team

Messner route

Keith Heger (CA, guide) 

Ian Evans (CA) 

Andy Styles (UK) 

Bradley Cross (UK)

 

Latest report from their home team, the team climbed for what felt like all day. Weather was sunny all day with the wind building to 15kt that died at the end of the day when the team made camp. 12.5 nautical miles over 8.5 hours of travel.

 

The previous day they had low light and sledge-hauled 12 nautical miles in 9 hours. It was -13° C (8.6° F) with a 15 kt wind. 

 

 

LINKS:

 

2014-15 SOUTH POLE TEAMS

 

Unassisted Supported

(no resupplies, wind-support)

 

Solo traverse Novo - GSP- Hercules Inlet

Faysal Hanneche (FR)

 

Solo, kite-ski Novo - South Pole of Inaccessibility

Frédéric Dion (CA)

 

Assisted Unsupported

(resupplies, no wind/vehicles)

 

Traverse Messner - GSP - Hercules Inlet

Stéphanie Gicquel(FR)

Jérémie Gicquel (FR) 

Are Johansen (NO) 

 

Newall Hunter (UK, Messner to GSP)

 

Adventure Consultants team

Hercules Inlet route

Einar Torfi Finnsson (IS, guide)

Hugh Dougall (CA)

William (Bill) Morrison (UK)

Tim Garrett (AU)

 

ANI Messner Route team 

Robert Smith (guide)

Paula J Reid (UK)

Arabella Slinger (UK)

Julian Thomas (UK)

Vincent Piguot (Switzerland)

 

PolarExplorers team

Messner route

Keith Heger (CA, guide) 

Ian Evans (CA) 

Andy Styles (UK) 

Bradley Cross (UK)

 

Note: Messner Route starts at Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf.

 

Assisted Supported

 

Return Journey

Tractor expedition (Novo - GSP - Novo)

Matty McNair (US, Expedition Lead Guide)

Manon Ossevoort (NL, Lead driver)

Sarah McNair-Landry (CA, Expedition Guide and Audio-Visual Support) 

Nicolas Bachelet (Lead Mechanic) 

Simon Foster (Creative Director and Audio-Visual Lead) 

Arnór Ingólfsson (Expedition Leader and Arctic Truck Driver 1)

Jóhannes Guðmundsson(Arctic Truck Driver 2)

Arctic Trucks

 

Non-coastal start:

Outer Edge snow sailer (AU)

return journey

Polar Plateau South of Novo to GSP and possible return via POI to Novo Base

Kristan Ficher 

Charles Werb

Adrian McCallum (leader)

Jon Moody

 

 

Previous

 

New sled created alone on the ice

 

ExplorersWeb Interviews

 

PolarExplorers guide, Keith Heger’s Top Tips, Gear, and Menu treats

 

ExWeb interview with Are Johansen, "snow is the best surface for long journeys”

 

ExWeb interview with Frédéric Dion, invention and modification for the South Pole of Inaccessibility

 

ExWeb interview with Ian Evans, skier with PolarExplorers on Messner Route

 

ExWeb interview with Newall Hunter, solo South Pole skier: "pretty hectic last preparations"

 

French married couple and Norwegian adventurer for South Pole crossing: ExWeb interview with couple

 

ExWeb interview with Tractor Girl, Manon Ossevoort: tractor passed tests and arrived in Cape Town

 

ExWeb post South Pole interview with Fagan couple

 

Lessons from a yachtswoman: Paula Reid to ski to the South Pole

 

Geoff Wilson’s Top 5 South Pole Tips

 

ExWeb interview with Faysal Hanneche, "I learned to be patient on Antarctica"

 

Rules and Regulations in No-Man's Land: ExWeb interview with ALE's Steve Jones

 

Mount Sidley, Antarctica’s highest volcano accessible to climbers

 

Polar Technology

 

Rules and Regulations in No-Man's Land: ExWeb interview with ALE's Steve Jones

 

Polar Tech Week Roundup: 2014/2015 Recommendations

 

Your Smart Phone going Global: Review of Iridium Go

 

ExWeb Special: 2014 Polar Tech Roundtable Conference

 

HumanEdgeTech Expedition Technology (e.g.CONTACT software)

 

Related

 

2014-15 South Pole list - Updated

 

AdventureStats and Rules of Adventure

 

Kenn Borek stops supporting North Pole expeditions

 

“While it is a risk, that is part of the appeal”, Bob Maxwell to sail and skidoo to the South Pole

 

Antarctica news bits

 

Mission to Mars: Stage 2 Report

 

A journey to the South Pole in a wheelchair

 

Antarctica video trilogy

 

Video: Second 2012-13 Ilyushin-76 flight lands at Union Glacier, Antarctica

 

NASA Worldview

 

Current Polar Sea Ice Situation (Sept 2014)

 

Animated map of global weather conditions

 

New satellite map of Antarctica freely available

 

Antarctic ski/climb/pole/science Logistic Operators

 

Adventure Network International (ANI and ALE)

 

Antarctic Logistics Centre International (ALCI and TAC)

 

 

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 Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf (Messner) start is 890 km in a straight line from the 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.

Axel Heiberg Glacier start is also located at the Ross Ice Shelf and 535 km in a straight line from the South Pole.

Novo Base to South Pole of Inaccessibility (POI) is 1610 km in a straight line.

 

According to the Rules of Adventure, to claim a “solo" achievement, requires an unassisted status - therefore no supplies carried by pilots or car drivers, or anything (food, fuel, etc) received from any person along the way. A solo person may be wind supported (kites/sails). Note that the Polar Rules were compiled by early Norwegian and British Polar explorers and are maintained today by the current community of veteran polar skiers.

 

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 (POI)

2011-12 position: 

S82°06.696, E055°01.951

Geographic South Pole (GSP): 90 degrees South

 

 

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#southpole2014

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#antarctica

#expeditionlist

 

 

 

 

 

Frederic Dion posted photos of the creation of his new sled. Here, the damaged part of the kayak-sled was cut off and the two ends joined together.
courtesy Frederick Dion, SOURCE
Fred's repaired sled in the image. In a minefield of sastrugi Frederic explains he has to control his skis, manage the kite, avoid bumps to spare the sled and watch his compass to stay on track.
courtesy Frederick Dion, SOURCE
Faysal had a scare in a crevassed area near beautiful mountains.
courtesy Faysal Hanneche, SOURCE
The traverse trio's campsite.
courtesy Stephanie & Jeremie Gicquel, SOURCE
Stephanie, Jeremie and Are (below) walked 8 km westwards along a crevasse before they could turn south again.
courtesy Stephanie & Jeremie Gicquel, SOURCE
Are Johansen on a day with not much wind.
SOURCE
Newall Hunter behind the mask: "It's a bit of an art trying to get the clothing right so you are warm enough all over but not overheating when working hard."
courtesy Newall Hunter over Contact, SOURCE
Newall: "So the technique is to use the GPS to set the compass so that it points in the direction I want to go. I ski a short distance with the GPS and the set the compass to my ski marks in the snow. I wear the compass on a chest harness so that I can see it all of the time without having to use my hands."
courtesy Newall Hunter over Contact, SOURCE
The PolarExplorers' team. Keith report the temperature was -17C with 5kt wind, elevation 1975 ft, on Nov 29.
courtesy PolarExplorers, SOURCE
Antarctica ski and kite routes.
courtesy Map compiled by ExplorersWeb, SOURCE