With just a few days left in the current Antarctic season, and most of the explorers already off the ice or preparing to depart, we get news today of quite a show of camaraderie and respect by Norwegian skier Aleksander Gamme, who has elected to halt his expedition and wait for Aussies Cas and Jonesy.
If you’ve been following the action in the Antarctic this year, you know that there have been two teams vying to become the first to travel unsupported from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole and back. Aleksander was one of them and Cas and Jonesy was the other. The men had a good natured rivalry, as they each wanted to make history, but they also wished one another well and encouraged each other along the way too. Aleksander has been making his journey solo, and for the most part has faired very well, while Cas and Jonesy have gone together and at times have suffered mightily.
Both expeditions began at the same time, and they are now 87 days into their quest to complete this epic trek, and with the end now firmly in sight, all three are ready to put the experience behind them. Three months out on the ice is a long time for anyone, and I’m sure they are more than ready to feel some warm temperatures once again.
But after skiing 2270km (1410 miles) completely alone, Gamme has now stopped and his waiting for his compatriots to join him. They’ll ski in the last few miles to Hercules together, earning them all the distinction of completing this journey first. It is quite a show of sportsmanship and the complete lack of ego on the part of Aleksander, who could easily finish up today and claim the distinction for himself. Major props to the Norwegian for such a show of class.
For their part, Cas and Jonesy are limping to the finish line, and with just under 100km to go, it now appears that they’ll make it time for the last flight out on Friday. The two men have been battling injuries and bad weather almost from the start, and it is a testament to their strength and determination that they are now on the home stretch as well. There will be a major sense of relief and satisfaction when they finally hang up their skis and finally head home.
Well done all around for these three amazing men. And thanks to ExWeb for sharing the story.
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