Outside Online, who did a great job of following the South Pole Quest Team throughout their epic journey across the Antarctic, has posted an interview with Ray Zahab and Kevin Vellely, who have now been home for a month, and have had the opportunity to reflect on the journey.
They guys talk about the trip, whether or not the journey was worth it (it was!), if there was tension on the team (there wasn’t!), how they dealt with the Antarctic conditions, and much more. Ray talks about going to the Pole on snow shoes, as opposed to skis, which Kevin, and third team member Richard Weber, used for the bulk of the journey.
This is really a great interview because the guys tell it like it is. They share that there were times when they wanted to quit, and just give up after a long day on the ice, and Kevin talks about having a bad bout of altitude sickness, but still having to battle through. Ray mentions that he was listening to the audio book version of The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard, who was on the fateful Robert Falcon Scott expedition, and how he had to turn it off because it was too surreal and disheartening at times.
The team managed to set a new speed record, arriving at the Pole in just 34 days after setting out from Patriot Hills, and along the way they answered a lot of questions from students from back home, and interacted with classrooms, helping to bring the Antarctic experience to them. For both of those efforts they should be commended. Great work guys!
Oh, and fun fact, your iPod can indeed freeze solid at the South Pole. Good to know!! 🙂