Before taking a hiatus for the holidays last Friday, I posted a story about Swedish adventurer Johanna Davidsson, who was on the verge of reaching the South Pole, and breaking the speed record for a female skier to reach that point on the planet. Now, we can confirm that she has indeed completed that stage of her journey, and has established a new mark for the fastest time from Hercules Inlet to 90ºS by a woman.
In the original story that I posted, I wrote that Johanna was aiming to reach the South Pole by December 25 – Christmas Day. Instead, she crossed the finish line on December 24, which mean that her journey took 38 days, 23 hours, and 5 minutes. That’s 10 full hours faster than Hannah McKeand did it back in 2006.
ExWeb reports that for Johanna, this was a completely unexpected record. It was never part of her plan to set a ski to the Pole in such a quick time, and had originally told the website that she planned on a 50 day journey. Instead, she found that her training and gear were more than up to the task, and while conditions were challenging at times, she was able to cover further distances than she had originally intended on daily basis.
The final stretch wasn’t an easy one however. Whiteout conditions made skiing a challenge, and the snow was soft enough that it slowed Johanna’s progress. But, she pushed on with her goal in sight, and was able to finish one very long day of skiing to make it the research station located at the bottom of the world, where she was welcomed by the staff there with a hot meal and champaign.
The journey isn’t quite done just yet however. She’ll rest briefly at the Pole before turning around and heading back to her starting point at Hercules Inlet. If she’s successful, she’ll become the first Swede to complete the round-trip journey.
Congrats to Johanna on an amazing job setting a new speed record. We’ll be following along as you head back to the coast.