Antarctica 2009: Meagan Closes In On The Pole

Things have quieted down some what at the bottom of the world, with the Kaspersky Commonwealth Team arriving back in London today, and Eric Larsen in Miami this morning as well. But there are still a few adventurers out on the ice, with a late season “last degree” team getting dropped off over the weekend as well.

Canadian Meagan McGrath continues her solo journey to the Pole and now expects to arrive on or around the 15th of January. In her most recent audio dispatch she says that she’ll miss the flight out on that day, so she’ll likely be staying at the Pole for a few days until the next plane arrives to retrieve the aforementioned last degree team. Meagan has now climbed to the top of the Antarctic Plateau, where everything is flat, and mostly featureless. She continues to make good time, but it seems like the journey has worn on her. She mentions that she is ready to get back home to friends and family soon, and it almost sounds like you can hear the weariness in her voice, which is understandable after 40+ days out on the ice.

Meanwhile, Ryan Waters and Cecilie Skog continue their traverse of the continent, having passed the South Pole and turned north once again. Yesterday was a rest day for the duo, who say that they are now battling major weight loss after weeks of strenuous, calorie burning activity day in and day out. When they resumed their journey today they had 132 miles to go until they reached the top of the glacier they were currently focused on. From there, they’ll descend back to the coast, finishing their expedition in style.

The season is wrapping up quickly now. It appears that Meagan will finish up her journey late this week and then it’ll be a race to the coast for Ryan and Cecilie. After that, the continent will shut down once again, until late 2010, when a new crop of adventurers will make their way across the coldest, driest, and highest place on Earth.

Kraig Becker

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