Antarctica 2011: Dixie and Sam Are Heading Home, Antarctic Season Nearly Over

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Last week we watched as the last ALE flight picked up Antarctic explorers from Union Glacier, leaving just one team out on the ice. That was kite-skiers Dixie Dansercoer and Sam Deltour, who had recently set a new record for the longest unsupported journey across the frozen continent. Last Friday, the boys decided to pull the plug on their expedition as well, and while they’re still waiting for flight out, they are now more than ready to head home.

According to updates on their website, Sam and Dixie are currently camped at a great location for a plane to land and retrieve them from the ice. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t all that cooperative over the weekend, so they were forced to hang out in their tent and await extraction. That is expected to change in the next day or so, and as I write this, the two men may already be on their way out of Antarctica.

As it stands now, the official numbers for the expedition are 68 days of travel (they’re now at 78 days total time) covering 5013km (3114 miles). They averaged about 68km/day at an average altitude of about 3147 meters (10,324 ft).  Oh, and the average temperature while in the Antarctic? A balmy -30.4ºC/-22.7ºF.

Hopefully Dixie and Sam will be on their way to warmer climes soon. When you consider they had an aborted start to their expedition way back in November, you realize that they’ve been in the Antarctic for nearly three months now, and that is long enough for just about anyone. Job well done boys. Now get home safe.

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