Just a quick update from the Antarctic today, and not the usual rounds of all the teams. I thought that it was fitting to update the progress of American Todd Carmichael, who has now passed the 89th degree and has passed the record setting pace of Hannah McKeand back in 2006.
According to ExWeb, Todd is now 2.9 nautical miles ahead of Hannah’s pace, but continues to struggle in the soft snow. He is now just 60 nautical miles from the Pole after pulling his sled for 15 long hours today to reach his goal of 17nm. The next few days promise longer mileage, and it’s going to be a tough going all the way.
Back in 2006, Hannah beat the old record by more than two days, taking just 39 days, 10 hours, 33 minutes to reach the South Pole, going solo and unsupported the entire way. Todd has set goal a of reaching that same point, also solo and unsupported, on Saturday, December 20th, but to do so, he’ll need to cover 19 nm and 21 nm over the next two days.
Todd’s home team reports that although his load continues to dwindle in size, his sled feels heavier than ever, thanks to the soft snow. His supplies have also dwindled to the point that he can’t afford to remain out on the ice for much past his deadline. HIs longer days and more challenging schedule have caused him to burn more calories, and his food supply is getting quite low. While his life is not in danger, his “unsupported” status could be lost if he has to call in a supply drop.
Watch for more updates. The record is in jeopardy, but it’s going to be close.