Adventure Travel: Last Degree To The South Pole

PlanetFear posted a cool article just before the holidays that recounts one woman’s last degree journey to the South Pole. The story, accompanied by some great photos, offers some nice insight on what it’s like on the wind-swept continent of Antarctica.

The article is written by Helen Turton, who recounts her personal tail of traveling from 89º South to the Pole itself. She began her journey in Punta Arenas, Chile, where she, along with everyone else headed to Antarctica, received a briefing from ALE (Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions) on what they could expect upon reaching the ice.

From there, it’s off to Patriot Hills aboard the famed ALE Ilyushin 76 aircraft, where they had a brief layover, before proceeding further south to the 89th parallel. Once there, the journey begins in earnest, with her and the rest of the group, going the rest of the way on skis and pulling their sleds behind them.

Helen had already done a last degree trip to the North Pole, but found that this was a very different experience. She noted that the air was much dryer in Antarctica, which made for a more pleasant experience in general. She also noted that fuel consumption on the stoves was also less than at the North Pole, where explorers also have to contend with the polar bears and the dreaded negative drift.

This is a nice story with some great personal insights and information It makes me want to head to the South Pole even more, although that record low temperature of -79º C (-110º F) does make me stop to think a bit.

Kraig Becker

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