It has been a very long season in Antarctica, where all of the South Pole skiers have now packed up and gone home for the season. That typically drops the curtain on operations there for the year, but there is still one ongoing expedition that is taking place at the moment.
Last week, Australian adventurer Charles Werb launched his Outer Edge Challenge, during which he will be is using a specially designed, wind-driven sled that allows him to sail over the ice. His ultimate goal is to reach the South Pole in just a few days time, and while things are going well in his preparations, the wind hasn’t exactly been cooperative so far.
Were arrived at the Novo station in Antarctica last week, and has spent his time since then getting ready to officially launch the expedition. He has been organizing his gear, preparing the sled, and training with it under actual polar conditions. So far, he has found that the winds haven’t been as strong as he’d like, but that is expected to change over the next day or two. Storms are predicted for his route, which will make things a bit challenging, but higher winds will help propel the Aussie along at a faster clip.
Charles is expected to cover the complete distance to the South Pole in about a week or so, depending on conditions. Things are looking good for his official start in the next day or two, and from there he’l be off to the Pole. He’ll travel with a support team in tow to keep an eye on his progress and lend a hand as needed. That team will also carry all of the extra gear and supplies needed for such a journey.
While this expedition should be fairly brief, there are obstacles to be concerned with. For instance, typically by now most people have left the Antarctic for the season as the weather starts to take a turn for the worse. The Austral Summer is nearing an end, and harsh conditions soon follow afterwards.
Charles and his team will have to watch the weather very carefully, as it could potentially turn dangerous. The plan is to make a dash for the finish the line, then head back to the coast, getting out before things get really bad. But as unpredictable as the weather is, you just never know what Mother Nature will throw at you.
More updates on the expeditions progress as we know more.
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