There and Back Again!

John Wilton-Davies has announced his intentions to go solo, and unsupported, to the South Pole later this year. Of course there always a number of explorers each year that make that expedition, and a few even go solo and unsupported as well. However, once John reaches the South Pole, he’s only halfway to his destination!

That’s right, he’s not only going to the Pole, but he’ll also turn around and return to Hercules Inlet where he began. Solo and unsupported the whole way. It what is being called the Last Great Challenge, John hopes to become the first man to ever accomplish this amazing feat. He predicts that it will take approximately 77 days to make the historic round trip journey on skis, pulling his sledge behind him.

On his website you’ll find more information about the Last Great Challenge, including a bio of John, a list of Frequently Asked Questions, a general overview of the expedition, a photo gallery, and much much more.

Of course, my personal favorite section is his gear list which has a complete run down of all the equipment he plans on taking with him. When looking this over, keep in mind that he’ll be pulling it all behind him on a sledge that will be 2 1/2 times his own body weight. He’ll also need to average roughly 20 miles per day, through some of the most in hospitable terrain on the planet, in order to stick to his schedule. Piece of cake!

You may remember John from his solo and unsupported 2006 expedition to the South Pole. Back then he reached 88.5º S before running out supplies and time. He truly gave it everything he could, and came up just a bit short, but clearly he learned a lot, and feels he has unfinished business at the bottom of the world, and he’s going back with a vengeance.

Good luck John! We’ll be following your adventure and rooting for you come November.

Kraig Becker