In a sure sign that the 2009 Antarctic season can’t be too far off, ExWeb has posted their list of expeditions that are slated to take place on the frozen continent beginning in just a few weeks time. The list is a bit sparse at the moment, no doubt a reflection of the economic conditions that we find ourselves mired in at the moment. Sponsorship dollars have been hard to come by this year, and it doesn’t look like that is going to improve much in 2010.
Even though the list is a short one, and I expect there will be more expeditions added in the days ahead, it isn’t without some intriguing adventures. For instance, Meagan McGrath hopes to make a solo, unsupported trip to the South Pole which would earn her the distinction of being the first Canadian woman to achieve that feat. Ben Saunders returns to the ice as well as he begins an odyssey that will have him attempting speed records on both Poles ahead of an epic Antarctic expedition scheduled for 2011-2012, while Fiona Lindsay and Ronny Finsaas will go for an unassisted crossing of the continent by kite-ski, covering more than 2000 miles in the process.
One expedition in particular caught my eye as being especially ambitious, as British adventurer Antony Jinman will attempt to ski the “three poles” in one year. Back in May he traversed across Greenland by skis, and this fall he’ll go to the South Pole as well. With that out of the way, he’ll turn is attention to the North Pole next spring, completing his quest at the top of the world.
Not to be out done, Eric Larsen has also been planning for his assault on the “three poles”, in which he’ll go for the North and South Pole, and the summit of Everest, in a 365 day period. He’ll begin that quest by going to the South Pole, where, according to ExWeb, he’ll be guding a team from Hercules Inlet that will receive resupply along the way. Should be interesting to see what he does in the spring when explorers are traditionally going to the North Pole and up Everest.
I’m sure the list will see periodic updates throughout October as we speed towards the beginning of the season. November is traditionally when the Antarctic expeditions get underway, and it won’t be long until we’re getting some great updates from the ice. Between now and the start of their expeditions however, the explorers will be very busy on their continued training, gear packing, and sponsorship duties.
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