Following a delayed start, the Coldest Journey team got underway late last week and have been making solid progress during their first few days on the ice. The group is hoping to become the first expedition to complete a traverse of Antarctica during the winter, which means crossing more than 3800 km (2361 miles) of frozen ground while being battered by the coldest and harshest weather imaginable.
The journey began at Crown Bay where the team first endured a four-day blizzard just prior to their departure. Since then they have been moving away from the coast, and slowly gaining altitude, which has resulted in a deterioration of the weather. In fact, it has gotten so bad that a whiteout has halted all progress today while the men sit in their “living caboose” and wait for things to improve. Considering how poor the weather can be in Antarctica this time of year, they could potentially be sitting their awhile.
The expedition is expected to take upwards of five months to complete with most of that spent in complete darkness. The Ice Team, which consists of Spencer Smirl, Ian Prickett, Rob Lambert, Richmond Dykes and Brian Newham, are traveling on skis the entire way, while the Train, consisting of two tractors, the living caboose and a supply trailer, follow along with all of their gear, supplies and shelter. When the weather is bad as it is currently, it is simply too unsafe for the team to proceed.
You can follow along with their progress and get daily updates throughout the expedition at TheColdestJourney.org.
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