The start of the 2011 Antarctic season is now just a few short weeks away, and as such, the explorers, both solo and on teams, are in the final stages of preparation. Almost before they know it, they’ll be arriving in Punta Arenas, Chile, the last stop for many who will be heading out on the ice this year.
One of those teams consists of Belgians Dixie Dansercoer and his partner Sam Deltour, who will launch their Antarctic ICE expedition at the end of October. Dixie is, of course, a veteran with many adventures under his belt, including a previous trip to the South Pole and visits to a number of other arctic destinations. Sam, who is a med student, has an impressive resume of his own, having raced sled dogs in both the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest, as well as having competed in cross country races and other endurance events.
The two men have joined forces to travel to the remote, and largely unexplored, East Antarctica, where they plan to kite-ski approximately 6000km (3728 miles) between November 2011 and February of 2012. Along the way, they hope to set a new record for the longest non-motorized, self supported, expedition ever, while also exploring a new route across the continent using wind power. They’ll also be taking a number of meteorological measurements along the way, turning that data over to aid scientific research upon their return.
This will be just one of several Antarctic expeditions that I’ll be following closely this season. For these two men to stay out on the ice for more than 3 months, completely unsupported, will be very impressive, and the distances they hope to cover are ambitious as well. I’m looking forward to the start of the new season in just over a month’s time.
Good luck to both Sam and Dixie and thanks to Matthias for sharing this information with me!
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