Antarctic Airline Grounded!

The Russian Ilyushin Cargo plain owned by Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions has experienced mechanical failure and is currently grounded. Meanwhile, new Antarctic explorers and Vinson climbers sit and wait in Punta Arenas to be taken South, and seveal other teams are stranded on the ice while they await pick-up.

ALE is company who works with explorers and climbers to get them, their gear, and their supplies, to Antarctica, usually landing at Patriot Hills. But with their plane broken down, and no back-up jet, there is nothing they can do at the moment, except wait for it to be fixed, leaving teams stranded on both sides of the water. Hopefully they’ll be up and running again soon. You can read more about this predicament here.

Meanwhile, for those alread on the ice it’s another day closer to the Pole. For solo skiier John Wilton-Davies it was a rought day yesterday, forcing him to take a rest day today, and double his food rations. Ray and Jenny report excellent conditions on the ice, with warm temperatures, and cleark skies. They are currently 41 miles from the Pole, which means another three or four days should see them at their destination.

Team n2i, which you’ll recall is kiting to the Pole of Inaccessibility, is reporting great winds and nices speed. They recorded a distance of 122km yesterday, but even more interesting was the fact that they found “3 massive sets of caterpillar tracks stretching into the distance”, which begs the question. Who is going for joyrides around Antarctica?

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