So you want to ski across Antarctica? That isn’t an uncommon goal amongst outdoor adventurers and explorers. In fact, people do it every year, and as I’ve mentioned several times in the past week, the 2015-2016 Antarctic season is just about to begin. Ahead of the start of that 2+ month long window to travel across the frozen continent comes this article from the Adventure Journal, which shares 23 tips for undertaking such an ambitious expedition.
Written by British climber and explorer Andy Kirkpatrick, the article is filled with bits of wisdom for anyone who is actually considering the attempt to ski across Antarctica. But beyond, that these tips are also helpful for those of us who are following along with those who are making the crossing. They give us just a bit of a glimpse into what it is like to spend upwards of 40 days out on the ice, traveling across a frozen expanse, just to reach a spot on the Earth that very few actually get to see. A place visited by such historic figures as Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott.
Obviously I won’t list all 23 of the tips that Andy provides, and most of them are not simple buzz phrases that are easy to distill down to a small summary. But some of the things he advises include having a clear perspective on your place in that wild, inhospitable environment, as it will help you to stay focused and grounded. He also tells Antarctic travelers to study how Shackleton, Mawson, and Scott ran their expeditions, as there are lessons to be learned from the mistakes they made, and how two of them made it back alive, while one remains there forever. Andy goes on to say that the most important thing is that you continue to move forward, no matter the obstacles, and don’t let the distances you cover deter your spirits. You’ll have good days and bad, but as long as you’re making progress, you’ll eventually reach your goal.
This is just a very small part of the wisdom that he imparts, much of which can be applied to difficult expeditions to other parts of the planet too. There is a lot to take away from this article, and it is well worth a read – whether you intend to ever step food on the southern continent or not.
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