Antarctic Update – Endless Ice


ThePoles.com has posted another Antarctic update just in time for the weekend. From the sounds of things, the traffic has picked up at Patriot Hills, with more South Pole and Vinson expeditions arriving regularly.

The Beyond Endurance Team is reporting bad weather and nasty winds making it tough going at the moment. Pulling their sleds across sastrugi has caused their pace to drop and their levels of exertion to rise.

Likewise, the Subzero Expedition says that their weather is no better. Six days out, and they report zero visibility as they struggle to make progress, moving up hill all day. However, the team is on a world record pace at the moment, averaging nearly 13.9 miles per day and having traveled more than 83 miles already.

Adrian Hayes continues his progress towards his “third pole” having already visited the North Pole and summitted Everest. He notes that being in the Antarctic is a lot like being on another planet, with “No trees, no plants, no mosses. No birds, no insects, no life form of any kind.” The endless white monotony was broken when the team spotted the distant Thiel Mountains, which was enough to make them stop and stare, happy to have something to break the horizon.

Two unsupported teams have hit the ice, with the Interchange Shackleton Team attempting a new route, and experiencing morning temperatures in the -30 range. They’ve already had to divert their course to keep making progress. Meanwhile, the team from South Africa continue to make steady progress towards their goal. Going unsupported means taking everything you need with you and not getting any kind of supply drops. Hopefully these two teams will reach the Pole with their unsupported tags well intact.

Expect more reports from new teams to begin appearing soon. ALE is delivering new teams to the ice regularly, and I’d expect to hear some news on Vinson climbs soon as well.

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