Antarctica 2009: Meagan Faces Setback

Scary news from the Antarctic today, as ExWeb is reporting that Canadian Meagan McGrath suffered a major set back to her plans for skiing solo to the South Pole on Wednesday when she fell into a crevasse and had to be rescued by ALE.

According to the story, Meagan set out from Patriot Hills on Dec. 1st to begin her solo and unassisted journey to the Pole. But on her second day out, she fell into a deep crevasse and was forced to use her sat phone to call ALE, who monitored her status before sending four people out to retrieve her. All told, Meagan spent eight hours trapped in the crevasse, and when she was rescued, she was reportedly mostly wet and cold, but doctors determined that she suffered bruised ribs, which can be very painful, especially when laboring in the cold weather. As of this writing, she is weighing her options and deciding if she wants to make another attempt at the Pole.

Things are going much better for the Kaspersky Commonwealth Team, who continue to make good progress and seem to have great moral amongst the seven ladies who are skiing together to the Pole. In their latest dispatch, they report that the clear, blue skies have been replaced by gray, overcast ones, but they are continuing on to their first navigation point and supply cache. They expect to reach that point, dubbed Field Corner, tomorrow, at which time they’ll turn due South and head towards their ultimate destination.

Meanwhile, Eric Larsen and his team are now 18 days out of Patriot Hills, and also reportedly feeling fit and doing fine. The team took a rest day a few days back, to recharge the batteries, but they’ve been back on the trail ever since and steadily are making their way onward and upward, gaining elevation as they go.

Ryan Waters and Cecilie Skog seem to be in a similar boat, as their latest update simply reads: “Gaining altitude and kilometers daily…. cheers from the tent with snow falling!” This has been a strong team so far, and they are making an unassisted attempt on the Pole as well. Seems like things are going well, and they are on track.

Finally, for a completely different Antarctic expedition, check out Chris Davenport’s ski trip to the frozen continent. Chris is making of series of ski descents on a number of different faces, and looks to be having a great time doing it. Great photos too!

Kraig Becker