A few days ago I posted an update on the teams that were still out on the Antarctic ice and making their way to the South Pole. At the time, I mentioned that Norwegian skier Christian Eide was making great time in his efforts to break the speed record for reaching the Pole, and I even said that barring any unforeseen issues, it was beginning to look like he would smash the previous record. Turns out, he completely obliterated it.
According to ExWeb, Eide arrived at 90ºS earlier today and completed the journey in a stunning 24 days, 1 hour, and 13 minutes. That means that he had to average nearly 47km (29 miles) per day. A very impressive feat to say the least. Eide shaved more than 15 days off the old record, held by Todd Carmichael, who went to the Pole back in 2008 in 39 days, 7 hours, and 49 minutes.
Congratulations to Christian on the new record. I think this one might stand for awhile. Well done!
On another note, I also mentioned in my last Antarctic update that Willem ter Horst and guide Hannah McKeand were also rapidly approaching the Pole and were likely to arrive that day. Turns out they did indeed finish their expedition as well, reaching the finish line on Tuesday of this week. It took the pair 47 days to cover the route between Hercules Inlet and the South Pole.
Congrats to both Willem and Hannah as well.
With these final two teams completing their respective journeys, there aren’t a lot of people still out on the ice. The Antarctic season is rapidly coming to a close for another year. But there are big things in the works for the 2011 season, which will mark 100 years since Admundsen first reached 90ºS and the tragic events that followed for Scott. There will be plenty of pomp and circumstance ahead on both accounts.