Antarctic Update: Storms and Whiteouts Continue

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When last we had an update from the South Pole the teams were suffering through an incredible storm that battered them with high winds and total whiteout conditions. Today, nearly a week later, we get the latest update from which reports more of the same.

The Irish Beyond Endurance Team reports that the winds and snows still haven’t subsided, and that they continue moving forward with nearly zero visibility. Team member Pat Falvey reports that in his 62 expeditions he has never experienced weather like they’ve seen over the course of the past week or so. He notes that the weather has been very frustrating and demoralizing. Pulling the sleds has been tough going and just plain hard work, but the team has reached a milestone crossing the 86 degrees South point.

The Sub-Zero Expedition, which consists on of Todd Carmichael at this point, reports a similar situation. Todd has had to take a day or two off this week because of the bad conditions, and he has had to readjust his fuel and food consumption in order to maintain his “unsupported” status. Despite that, he is covering good distances on the days that he is on the move and his last report indicates that the weather may finally be breaking.

Adrian Hayes continues his quest for his “Third Pole” and also is reporting a break in the weather, with the sun shining through after ten days of snow, wind and cold. He notes that the sun has lifted his spirits and given him a rejuvenated spirit which has been a real blessing after those long, trying days, that included camping for a night in a crevasse field.

Reports from other teams hold a similar tone. Long days of cloudy skies, cold winds, and whiteout conditions have taken their toll on morale and made for long, hard days on the ice. But the weather finally seems to be breaking, and the return of the sun has buoyed their spirits and re-energized them for the long journey to the Pole.

Kraig Becker

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