Antarctic 2009: Kaspersky Team Reach The Pole!

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As predicted a few days back, the first teams are now arriving at the South Pole, finishing off long and demanding journeys, while marking the beginning of the end of the Antarctic season.

The Kaspersky Commonwealth Team finished their expedition yesterday reaching the Pole as expected. The girls completed their 550+ mile journey in about 39 days. They are now resting at the South Pole Research Station, and enjoying warm beds and hot meals. The aim of this expedition has always been to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the formation of the Commonwealth, but also to celebrate the abilities of women. In the case of these seven ladies, they are hoping to serve as role models for girls in back in their home countries, and having completed this arduous journey, I’d say they have accomplished multiple goals at once.

In other arrival news, ExWeb is reporting that the Danish team of Morten Grundsøe and Jens Erik Nielsen have also reached the South Pole. The pair made their expedition in an unsupported fashion, completing the last 33.5 miles in a single 22 hour push.

Ryan Waters and Cecilie Skog posted an update two days back with the news that they are now within the last degree of the Pole. As of that dispatch, they were just 40 nautical miles from their goal, which means they are likely to finish up sometime today or early tomorrow. Looks like they’ll be celebrating the New Year at the bottom of the world.

Eric Larsen’s Save The Poles Expedition has moved to 88.3ºS and continues to make good time with the weather remaining clear and calm, although temperatures have been quite cold, reaching as low as -30ºF. The team is trying to conserve as much energy as possible as they head into the home stretch, as it sounds like the grind of the continuous days on the ice has begun to take its toll. On their current pace, Eric and the boys should reach the end of their journey by early next week.

Meagan McGrath reached a milestone of her own within the past few days, reaching the half-way point of her journey by crossing the 85ºS mark. She still has a long way to go yet, and she’s going to be racing the clock to a degree, but she sounds like she is in great spirits and enjoying the expedition so far. Lets hope Meagan gets the opportunity to reach the Pole. She’s worked hard to do so, and she still has some time to complete the journey, but she’ll have to work hard to make it.

Finally, the Shackleton’s Unfinished Journey Team is also closing in on the Pole. They are now within 20 miles of their goal, and are hoping to celebrate the New Year with the other teams arriving as well. Upon successful completion of the trip, 17-year old Katie Walter will become the youngest person to ski to the Pole.

Looks like it’s going to be crowded at the research station over the next few days.

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