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Dispatches - South Pole All The Way 2014/15

In the Southern Hemisphere summer, when the sun is in the sky 24 hours each day, Adventure Consultants is operating a two month long expedition on skis across the vast expanse of Antarctica, from the edge of the continent to the South Pole.

Our 2014/15 expedition runs from November 19, 2014 - January 25, 2015.  The team meets in Punta Arenas on the southern tip of Chile and flies to an ice runway on the Antarctic continent, from there, they are shuttled to the edge of the Antarctic Continent by Twin Otter aircraft where their task of walking 1200km/746miles over the next two months to the South Pole begins.

We will be posting regular updates from the team on this page as we follow their progress to the bottom (or top) of the world!  You can also click here to see their progress on a map. 

South Pole All the Way 2014/15 Team
Expedition Leader: Einar Finnsson, Iceland
Expedition members: Tim Garrett – Australia, Hugh Dougall – Canada, William Morrison – United Kingdom

19 JAN - WE MADE IT TO THE POLE!!

I found yesterday quite hard,  snow was sticky as it has been last days and I was no feeling particularly good. The cold is now intense enough to freeze the evaporation from our bodies before it gets to the outer layers so the breathing capacity of our clothes is largely reduced and they are damp or half wet in the evening.  We managed to make 2109 km in 8 active hours. I was glad at the end of this day that our trip is coming to an end.

 

The weather this morning looked really bad. Strong wind at about 20 knots, spin drift and bad visibility.  Luckily it cleared up about when we started skiing and the weather became very good. When we had about 15km to go we saw the first buildings of the American research station in the distance and that motivated us. We finally skied into camp at about 6:30 pm and got a warm welcome from the ALE staff at the Pole.  After 1130 km, 57 days of travel and 53 days of skiing,  we have finally made it.  Yippee!

 

Best regards

Einar

 
Adventure Consultants South Pole ATW 2014-15 Team at the Pole
  19 January, 2015
We made it to the Pole!

17 January, 2015
Hard pulling and cold weather

15 January, 2015
The Last Degree in white out

13 January, 2015
Cold weather and 'sand snow'

11 January, 2015
Two cold days

9 January, 2015
It's cool at 88oS

7 January, 2015
More crevasses and cooler weather

5 January, 2015
Crevasse in the kitchen

3 January, 2015
More milestones!

1 January, 2015  
Happy New Year!

30 December, 2014
Sticky snow, 86 degres and 700km

28 December, 2014
Good weather & all going well

26 December, 2014
Good start to the second half and 600km

25 December, 2014
Merry Christmas!

23 December, 2014
We see mountains!

20 December, 2014
Reached 500km Mark

18 December, 2014
113k to next cache

16 December, 2014
400 kilimetres on the counter

14 December, 2014
One third of distance done

13 December, 2014
Into a daily routine

11 December, 2014
Team crosses the 300km mark

9 December 2014
To first cache

7 December 2014
Team celebrates another degree

5 December 2014
200km on the Counter

3 December 2014
Weather much improved

1 December 2014 
Rest Day

30 November 2014 
Making good progress

28 November 2014 
Whiteout conditions continue to hamper progress

27 November 2014 
7 hours and 18.2km to Camp 4

26 November 2014
To Camp 3 in a whiteout

24 November 2014
Expedition is underway

23 November 2014
Arrival in Antarctica

20 November 2014
Team all together in Punta Arenas

17 November 2014
Starting Soon

17 JAN - HARD PULLING AND COLD WEATHER

Yesterday we had another day with very little visibility, very cloudy and some few snow grains falling. Temperatures from -19 to -21°C which is quite mild seeing where we are.  Pulling the sled was very hard but with 8 active hours we covered the necessary distance to keep plan, 23.5 km.

 

This morning the temperature was -23C but when we started skiing it started clearing up and the temperature dropped significantly.  All our ski masks froze more than usual and we felt on our hands during breaks, how cold it was. When we camped it was  -30°C and about 10 knots wind. Today's skiing conditions where terrible and it was like pulling a sled in sugar. No gliding at all.  We still managed to cover 22.3km but this was one of the hardest day of the expedition. 

 

With only two days and 47 km to go we are all looking very much forward to the arrival to the South Pole and of course fantasising about food and drinks. 

     

15 JAN - THE LAST DEGREE IN WHITE OUT

The last two days our progress is steady but rather slow. We did 19.2 km yesterday and 21.2 today.  The snow continues to be sticky and yesterday afternoon it started to snow.  In this Antarctic desert the annual precipitation is very low but during the night we got between 2 and 3 cm of new sticky snow. It was still very cold yesterday, -27°C in the morning and -28°C in the evening.  This morning the Temperature had risen to -20 along with the snowfall. 

 

It does not help our progress that we had a total white out for a good part of the day.  I got so tired of the floating feeling that I asked Tim to break the trail at the end of the day.  And what a relief it is to be behind someone and actually see the ground :) 

 

We arrived to the 89th parallel South yesterday and decided to camp on the edge so we didn't have to carry our poo with us.  On the last degree we cannot leave anything, and I mean anything,  behind. Our poo is carried along in special plastic bags we have to put in the pulkas. This started today and our sleds are now decorated with grey plastic bags with frozen content that I will not describe further. 

 

Yesterday we had another important milestone,  when we passed 1000 km. Today we have 1037 km on the counter and 93 to go. We continue to aim for an arrival to the Pole on the 19th. 

     

13 JAN - COLD WEATHER AND 'SAND SNOW'

The last two days it has been "very" cloudy and snowing, the Antarctic way.  That is we have had some tiny ice or snow crystals in the air which make thin patches of clouds that the sun shines through most of the time.  It has continued to be cold (-27°C) and the snow is extremely sticky.

 

Despite the fact that the sleds are getting lighter and that the terrain is getting flatter, we work hard to ski 21 to 22 km per day.  Yesterday we did 21.7km and today 21.4km in 7 hours and 20 min active moving time. We have had some snow drifting on the surface and that does not help. So it looks like we will continue with this speed the next days.  This will bring us to the Pole in 6 more days. We have now skied 997 km and there are only 133 to go.
 

 
Sun in "cloudy" weather.  Note that it is not a easy task to take photos on a smart phone with a touch screen when it is - 27C!
 
 

11 JAN - TWO COLD DAYS

The last two days have been the coldest ones so far.  Yesterday was a tough one.  We had a 20 knot wind and -27°C. This equals -40° according to Tim's wind chill table.  We could not make a break without using the Rab shelter and in the end we cut the day short after 6 and a half hours. We still made 18 km despite the wind , sticky snow and bad conditions.  One of the things that we are fighting in these low temperatures is that goggles and sun glasses constantly fog and then the humidity freezes on the inside of the lenses.  This is annoying but we are getting pretty innovative in dealing with this. 
Today the temperature was still -27 but the wind was much lower than yesterday so it was a good travel day. We made 23 km today so we have only 176 to go. This will probably take us 8 more days so arrival to the Pole hopefully on the 19th.
Photo shows Tim in his sleeping bag ready for a cool night. 

 

 
Tim tucked up for the night
 

9 JAN - IT'S COOL AT 88oS

Last couple of days the weather has been good,  sunny,  with light wind at 5 knots and -24°C. The snow is very sticky and the sleds slide badly so our speed is slower than before the last cache.  However we did 20,3 km yesterday and 21,7 today. Our days are still at 7 hours and 20 minutes active skiing time.  We are still gaining altitude but not as fast as before the cache point.  We are now at 2610 m and frankly I think that I feel the altitude.  At least I feel like my breath is a little bit short. The cold has made me add layers. I am now wearing three layers of Bergans merino wool on top, then a pullover and the Rab vapour rise jacket.  I am wearing 3 layers of socks in my shoes,  the fleece trousers under my Mountain Equipment Fitz Roy pants and the polar skirt. Taking windchill in account the temperatures we are experiencing are equal to - 30 to -38°C. My 3 companions all have minor frost bite one on nose, another on thighs and third on fingertips.   I have got away so far but we all have to be very careful with the cold.
Today we passed important landmarks. We passed 88°S and we have now skied more than 900 km. We have 217 km to go to the Pole.
The photo shows me wearing a Bergans polar skirt.

 

 
Einar at 88oS
 

7 JAN - MORE CREVASSES AND COOLER WEATHER

Yesterday morning we started with pulkas heavy -  full of provisions and fuel.  We followed the advice of the Norwegian guide and headed slightly easterly in his footsteps (ski tracks). It turned out to be a bad advice.  Contrary to what he said there were indeed two big crevasses this way. I chose to rope up and cross them rather than making a 7 to 8 km detour,  but this cost us valuable time.  Thus the days covered distance was only 17,8 km.
Today the wind has been blowing at 15 to 20 knots and the temperature is -24 °C. It was definitely the coldest day so far.  I was wearing my Bergans polar skirt for the first time and it works well. With the wind and the cold the snow becomes sticky and it was really hard to pull.  We only skied mere 18,6 km in more than 7 hours which is one of the lowest speed we have had for a long time. Tomorrow the wind is supposed to drop to 10 knots so hopefully the skiing conditions will improve. It will still be cold but that is to be expected here at our latitude and altitude.  We are now at 2480 m.

Camp 40 at 87°32'466 S 81°53'885 W and camp 41 at 87°42'478 S 81°44'894 W.


Best regards
Einar

 

 
The photo shows our camp tonight,  in the middle of one of many sastrugi fields we pass these days.
 

5 JAN - CREVASSE IN THE KITCHEN

Yesterday was a big day. We skied 29 km to get all the way to our cache in one day. The weather was great -  sunny with a breeze from southeast. We had quite a bit of big sastrugis on the way and some hills up and down.  We are now at 2330 m and have gained almost 1000 m last 10 days.  We camped close to the cache and when I was digging a hole in the vestibule which also serves as kitchen,  I came down to a 15 cm wide crevasse. I could not see the bottom but it did not seem to get any wider further down.  At first I thought that I would have to move the tent but then decided to shovel some snow in to the fissure and stuff it in with my foot.  It works and the snow is frozen in. When I sit in the tent door, cooking and managing the stoves,  it feels funny to know that there is a bottomless crevasse under my feet :)
Another important event occurred yesterday when we met the first people we have seen since we started our expedition 42 days ago.  It was a french couple with their Norwegian guide,  coming from the Pole and on their way to Hercules inlet where we started.  We had a good chat and me and the guide shared information about the routes ahead.  


Our camp 39 at 87°22'999 S 82°15'138 W

 

Today we had a rest day.  We attack the last part tomorrow and my plan is to get to the Pole in 13 days.

 

Best regards
Einar

 

 
Meeting the Norwegian Guide coming from the Pole.
 

3 JAN - MORE MILESTONES!

The two last days have been a bit hard. We now have sastrugis again and this time they are from southeast to northwest. This means we have to go across each and every one instead of skiing along them as we some times could before. Yesterday the glacier landscape was rising fast, and before each uphill there was a considerable descent. 

When we were supposed to stop and put up camp, we found our selves on a big slope with icy snow and nowhere to put up a tent.  So we skied on and it took an extra hour to get to the flat with better snow to camp on. As a result, we had a big day -  28 km and 200 m altitude gain. So we are now above 2000 m and it is getting a little colder  which means that my face mask is constantly freezing to my beard :(

Today we woke up half an hour later than usual. We were a bit slow to start after the big day yesterday but after we got going, we did 22 km of sastrugi crossings and added some altitude. We are now at 2150 m with more climbing to come since we camped just before a big hill.
 

Two important milestones were passed today,  the 87°S and the 800 km point.  We have now done 805 km.


The photo shows Tim , Hugh and Bill after the last skiing session today just before putting up tents.


Camp 37 at 86°55'308 S 81°32'543 W and Camp 38 at 87°07'413 S 81°43'668 W

Best regards
Einar

 

 
Tim, Hugh and Bill just before setting up camp. 
 
 

1 JAN - HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Dear friends. Happy New year.  We celebrated the new year with a taste of whiskey before going early to bed as usual :)

 

Last couple of days we have been going strong as the days before.  Weather has been very good, sunny and slightly windy from south. Yesterday the snow was sticky in the morning but the gliding was better in the afternoon and today the gliding was very good. We are gaining altitude much faster these days than before Thiels mountains and on the "steepest" part (nothing is really steep here) we now have sastrugis from south east right across our route in stead of the normal ones that come from the south south west. 

 

We have climbed over 500m in a week and are now at 1900m. Yesterday's distance was 24,1 km and today we skied 26,2 km. This has taken us to a couple of new milestones.  We have now done 755 km total which is over two thirds of the way to the Pole and we have now less than 400 km to go.  

 

We had hoped to meet the solo kiter that was heading our way but yesterday we saw his fresh track and saw that he had passed slightly East of us.  We still hope to meet the french couple and their guide which should be at the cache on a similar time as we. We will see.  The photo today is a selfie of myself so you can see that Antarctica has not treated me badly. 

 

Camp 35 at 86°26'221 S 81°10'210 W and camp 36 at 86°40'281 S 81°14'755 W. Temperatures -17°C yesterday and -16 today.

Best regards

Einar

 
Einar's selfie
 

30 DEC - STICKY SNOW, 86 DEGREES AND 700KM

Yesterday we had another very good weather day.  The surface was the best we have had during the whole expedition,  at times like skiing on a snow covered frozen lake back home.  The Thyl mountains can still be seen in the distance but are now quite far. We skied for 7 hours and 30 minutes and covered 25,7 km. Today's weather was also very good but a little more wind than yesterday so we were happy having lunch in the Rab shelter. The wind and the cold also makes the snow a bit sticky so pulling is harder but we still made good progress and we covered 24,7 km. We made two important milestones today, we have passed 86°S and made more than 700 km. 
 

 
Bill and Hugh at the end of our ski today
 

28 DEC - GOOD WEATHER & ALL GOING WELL

Yesterday was yet another excellent weather day.  For the first time during this expedition I wore only my Bergans woollen T shirt under the Rab vapour rise jacket. There was a moment where we descended a good bit and then we had the steepest hill we have had since we were starting our trip. It was about 200m high and it took about an hour to climb it dragging the pulka. The day was one of our best,  26,6 km. Today the weather was cooler but sunny and beautiful.  The snow had a sandy feeling, we were constantly going uphill and it was hard dragging the sleds. West to us the Thiel mountains were bathed in the sunshine and we could se how vast this mountain range actually is. Today's distance was 23,9 km and we are now at1565 m altitude.  We still have 180 km to go to our next cache and 480 all the way to the Pole.  It feels nice to see that we have now done 654 km which is considerably more than what is left. 

 
Hugh and the Thiel mountains
 

26 DEC - GOOD START TO THE SECOND HALF & 600km

We celebrated Christmas with a second day of rest.  We had good food,  Bill's famous English Christmas pudding,  'after eights',  blue cheese and more.  The rest of the day was spent reading and sleeping.  This morning we woke up full of energy to continue the journey.  The weather was good, almost no wind and cloudy.  The sastrugis have disappeared and the terrain is easier and that helps the speed.  We did 25.8km today and are happy about this good beginning of our second half. Our total distance is now 603 km. We learned this evening from Union Glacier that the French couple and their guide left from the Pole this morning and also a solo kiter, both parties coming our way.  It would be fun to meet someone on the way:) From our camp we se the Thiels mountains very well.  Camp 30 at 85°19'023 S 80°56'303 W.
Best regards
Einar

    



 

25 DEC -MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Hi and merry Christmas.  Yesterday we pushed along and did the 27 km we had left to Thiels Corner.  We arrived at 7pm after 7 hours and 40 minutes of skiing.  We were all very happy to have reached our second cache,  the 85th degree and our half way point to the Pole.  Our camp at Thiels is at 85°05'174 S 80°46'750 W. Today we have spent most of our time going through the food and our equipment because here we can send back things we don't need anymore.  We plan to stay here tomorrow also so we get a perfect rest before continuing.  The plan is to be considerably faster on our second half of the expedition and arrive to the Pole on the 18th of January.  We wish everyone merry Christmas and hope everyone is having a great time.

Best regards

Einar

 
Merry Christmas!
   

23 DEC - WE SEE MOUNTAINS!

We have advanced well the last two days despite some "sand snow" conditions.  Yesterday we had breeze from the south and good visibility and made  24 km.  Today the wind picked up and blowed at around 10 knots from south.  We all felt the pulling of the pulkas was hard today and that our process was slow, so we were happy to discover at the end of the day that we had done 24.1 km. But we feel quite beaten up after the hard work and look forward to our Christmas break.  We now have 27 km to go for our next cache at Thyls Corner so we should be there latest around noon of the 24th. 

Another thing that cheered us up today was that we saw mountains again after 300 km of nothing but the white snowy desert. These mountains are towards our northwest and are probably part of the Thyl mountains.  This evening the wind has accelerated and is now blowing at 15 knots.  This includes a lot of spin drift so I took pictures of our Bastion tent and the toilet with the snow blowing.  The pooper is a very important thing in these circumstances so you don't get snow in pants when doing your thing.
 

Camp 27 at 84°37'367 S 80°38' 437 W and Camp 28 at 84°50'312 S 80°41'812 W.

Best regards
Einar

 
Our Bastion tent

One of the most important structures... Our "Pooper"
   

20 DEC - REACHED 500KM MARK

Over the last two days the weather has been overcast and we have been fumbling our way through the sastrugis in a total white out. This slows down our speed considerably and makes our progress much harder work. It is even complicated to choose a camp site in the evening since it is hard to see if the snow is flat or not.

Yesterday we did only 18 km in 7 hours and 10 min and today we did 19.1 km in 7 hours and 20 min. The weather forecast says that it should clear up tomorrow afternoon and we all look forward to that.

My plan to get to Thyls Corner on the 23rd is getting tight and we might not get there until the 24th. Everyone is in good mood despite the hard work and looking forward to arriving to the next cache at Thyls where we will have clean clothes and the possibility to get rid of some stuff we do not need anymore. We are also happy that we have now gone over 500 km or 502 to be exact :) Camp 25 at 84°14'224 S 80°39'357 W and Camp 26 at 84°24'496 S 80°40'832 W. In the attached picture you can see what the white out looks like.

 

Best regards,

 

Einar

 
South Pole 20 December Dispatch
22 December 2014

Taking a short break in total white out

18 DEC - 113K TO NEXT CACHE

Yesterday was a great day, sunny and bright weather with about 10 knots wind from south and the temperature at -13°C.  We still had the monster sastrugis but it was not so hard to find your way through until early afternoon when we encountered a very difficult section. We travelled 23.9 km in 7 hours and 15 minutes to Camp 23 at 83°52'026 S 80°43'585 W

Today the weather was sunny but in the late afternoon the sky became cloudy.  We just managed to camp before we were in total white out. The sastrugis became smaller but at the same time it was harder to negotiate a good route through, so the day was quite rough.

We did all four sections with one hour and 50 minutes each, so the day ended with 23.3 km to Camp 24 at 84°04'526 S 80°38'214 W We now have 113k to go to Thyls corner and the plan is to accomplish that in 5 days.
 

Best regards,
Einar

 
South Pole ATW 2014 - sastrugis again
19 December 2014
18 December 2014

16 DEC - 400 KILOMETRES ON THE COUNTER

Hi. Yesterday the wind started howling at over 20 knots at around 10am and slowed down our progress significantly. Soon there was a lot of spin drift and the visibility was considerably reduced. Our Rab shelter was very handy in these conditions as it was very difficult to eat outside.

The wind born snow drift is more like sand than any normal snow. Pulling the pulks through this terrible snow, against the wind and through the sastrugis demanded a lot of effort so after travelling 12.7km in 4 ½ hours we stopped early and put up camp.

This morning the weather was excellent and became one of the three best days we have had during the expedition.  No shelter was needed for lunch and conditions were good.  The sastrugis are still very big and in the attached picture you can see the other expedition members sitting in them. We do a lot of zigzag between them and over them when needed and this affects our travel speed but it was still a good day with 23km in 7 hours.
And we are of course very happy to have achieved a total of 415km as of today. 

The plan is still to be at our next cache on the 23rd so we still have 160km to go in 7 days.

Best regards,

Einar

 

 
South Pole ATW 2014 - More sastrugis
17 December 2014
16 December 2014

More sastrugis

14 DEC - ONE THIRD OF DISTANCE DONE

On the whole yesterday was a good weather day.  We started in sunny weather with rather easy terrain but in the afternoon the sastrugis got bigger again and visibility got worse. There were times when we could not see a thing, heaven and earth became one inseparable white mass and we fumbled our way through.  We ended up doing 20.7 km to Camp 19 at 83°08'547 S 80°40'925 W. 

Today we had excellent weather, despite a cloudy forecast, and we covered 21.4 kms to Camp 20 at 83°20'020 S 80°35'620 W.  Terrain was a bit easier in the morning but in the afternoon we got "monster" sastrugis up to two meters high.

We’ve now travelled 380 km with 195 km remaining to our next cache at Thyls Corner.

The forecast for tomorrow is very windy so in the morning we will make the call on whether or not we have a rest day.
 

Best regards, Einar

 
South Pole ATW - Bill in sastrugis en route to Camp 20
16 December 2014
14 December 2014

South Pole ATW - Bill in sastrugis en route to Camp 20 (2)
16 December 2014
14 December 2014

Bill negotiating the 2 metre high sastrugis, by Einar Finnsson

13 DEC - INTO A DAILY ROUTINE

Our daily routine has become very organised.  We wake up at 6 am, pack our things and have breakfast.  We of course need to melt a lot of snow for the breakfast and to drink during the day.  That can take up to an hour and a half.

We normally start skiing at 8:45 and we ski 4 sections of one hour and forty five minutes each. We have two short breaks and one long where we put up the Rab emergency shelter so we can sit longer and eat.

We usually stop between 5:30 and 6:00 pm and put up the camp. That takes up to an hour and a half and then of course we have dinner. Dinner is finished around 9:00 and we are normally snoring (according to Tim) soon after 10.

Yesterday the terrain was better than Wednesday and we did 21.4km to Camp 18 at 82°57'424 S 80°41'577. 

Today we did 20.7km in sastrugis that became quite big by the late afternoon to Camp 19 at 83°08'547 S 80°40'925.

 

Einar for the South Pole All the Way Team


Photos - All bundled up for a day's travel

 
South Pole ATW - Bundled up for travel between Camp 17 and 19
15 December 2014
13 December 2014

South Pole ATW - Bundled up for travel between Camp 17 and 19 (2)
15 December 2014
13 December 2014

South Pole ATW - Bundled up for travel between Camp 17 and 19 (3)
15 December 2014
14 December 2014

South Pole ATW - Bundled up for travel between Camp 17 and 19 (4)
15 December 2014
13 December 2014

Team all bundled up for travel

11 DEC - TEAM CROSSES THE 300km MARK

The last two days have been hard work with heavier sleds and rough climbing terrain.  It helps that the weather has been excellent and yesterday, for the first time, we ate lunch outside instead of sitting in the Rab emergency shelter that we usually use for our lunch breaks. There was no wind throughout the entire day. 

We travelled 19.8 km yesterday, setting up Camp 16 at 82°34'960 S 80°48'588 W and 20.4 km today to Camp 17 at 82°45'895 S 80°42'719 W.

This morning we repaired Tim's ski, it was delaminating in back and we used super glue to fix it. It seems to have worked. And, yes this morning we passed 300km.  We have now completed 318 km with 259 km to go to Thiel’s corner where our next cache is waiting.

Best regards
Einar

 
South Pole ATW - Camp 17
12 December 2014
11 December 2014

Our camp tonight with toilet in front, a very important building :)

9 DEC - TO FIRST CACHE

Yesterday we arrived at our first cache (82°17'091 S 80°52'222 W). It was a long and difficult day with very low visibility in the morning and sastrugis that was bigger than we had seen before.  Progress was slow in the morning, but with a little extra push we arrived to the cache at 6:45pm, traveling 23.9 km in 7 hours and 45 minutes.

We camped at the cache and this morning dug it out.


So today, after reorganising the pulks and the new food, we left camp at 13:00. We encountered really big sastrugis but the weather was good and we made 13.5 km in 4 hours and 45 minutes. Tonight we camp at Camp 15, 82°24'371 S 80°54'809 W
 

Best regards,
Einar

 
South Pole ATW - Camp 14
11 December 2014
09 December 2014

Camp in sastrugis

7 DEC - TEAM CELEBRATES ANOTHER DEGREE

Yesterday started well with beautiful weather and moderate wind. We had views of Mt Goodwin for the last time. In the early afternoon the wind started to pick up and was very quickly over 20 knots.  We battled against it for a while but in the end we decided that it would be better to save the energy for later so, after a mere 16.9km in 5 ½ hours, we stopped and set up Camp 12 at 82°51'449 S 80°31'528 W.

Today we had good conditions and advanced well, achieving over 24km in 7 hours to Camp 13 at 82°04'322 S 80 °45'526 W. The wind was blowing from the south east, which is unusual since the katabatic winds are from south west.  Today was the first day without seeing any mountains on the horizon.  We are now alone in this white desert. We have passed the 82 degree and we have only one day left to reach our first cache. The team is well and we are all happy and of course we toasted to a new degree with whisky.

Best regards,
Einar

 
South Pole ATW - Camp 12
08 December 2014

South Pole ATW - Camp 13
08 December 2014

5 DEC - 200 KM ON THE COUNTER

Over the last two days we have advanced well - over 23km each day. Today we also gained 80m altitude after having lost a total of 60m in last 3 days. Tonight we toasted in whisky for having done 200km. And of course we listened to music on Tims i-pad during dinner. 

We are now at 218km and 3 days from our first cache. Weather has been sunny and sastrugis are not to big, but allways there. Temperature is fairly warm now at -9°C which is much easier than the -17°C we had a few days ago. We still walk with masks and that protects our faces from sun burns. 

Camp 10 - 81°29'617 S 80°22'681 W and Camp 11 - 81°42'361 S 80°29'882 W

Best regards,
Einar and the team

   

3 DEC - WEATHER MUCH IMPROVED

The last two days have been good.  Weather has been fine, winds from 4 to 12 knots, sunny and temperature -13°C. Yesterday we did 22 km  to Camp 8 at 81°04'531S 80°31'070W and today we did 23km to Camp 9  at 81°16'795 S 80°27'132 W, in 7 active hours. 

Today we can still see two summits to the west and I wonder if they are Mount Goodwin and Tidd. I guess the distance is close to 100 km away from us.  All is well with the group,   just a few blisters, as to be expected.

Regards, Einar

 
South Pole ATW - Camp 9
04 December 2014
03 December 2014

Setting up camp under welcome blue skies
South Pole ATW - Camp 9 (2)
04 December 2014
03 December 2014

Camp 9

1 DEC - REST DAY

Hi. The wind is strong today, about 20 knots, and there is a lot of spindrift. We have decided to have a storm/rest day and gather strength for the week that it will take us to push to our first cache. We are using this opportunity to screw the skins under our skis, read, listen to music and tend to other similar things.  Every one is fine. Here are pictures from the camp yesterday and skis this morning.

Best regards
Einar

 
South Pole ATW 2014 ski maintenance
02 December 2014

Screwing skins to the bottom of our skis

South Pole ATW 2014 Camp
02 December 2014

Yesterday's camp

30 NOV  - MAKING GOOD PROGRESS

Yesterday was a good day. We were on the move for 7 and a half hours.  The weather improved and so did the terrain, although we still had to navigate over sections of sastrugis.

We travelled 22km to Camp 6 at S80° 41' 982 and W 80°27'540. We still could see Ellesworth mountains and the three sails to the north.

Today the weather was colder -17 c with winds at about 12 knots. We had a good deal of sastrugis and a lot of famous sandpaper snow.  We moved for 7 hours and made it 20.6km to Camp7 at 80°53'040 S and 80°26'878 W. We can still see the Ellesworth and for awhile we saw two peaks in the East.
 

Best regards,

Einar on behalf of the South Pole All the Way Team

   

28 NOV - WHITEOUT CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO HAMPER PROGRESS

Today we were once again greeted with white out conditions and were only able to achieve 14.2km in 7 hours.  We are feeling a bit disappointed with our progress.  We are at Camp 5, 80°30'005 80°26'548, and the temperature is holding steady at -13 with light winds.

 
South Pole ATW - Camp 5
01 December 2014

Hugh and Einar at Camp 5

27 NOV - 7 HOURS AND 18.2KM TO CAMP 4

We had our first full day of 7 hours for a distance of 18.2km. During the day we experienced white out conditions which improved towards the end of the day.  We were once again challenged with navigating a good route through the sastrugis with limited visibility. We set up Camp 4 at s80°22'392 w80°29'669.  The temperature is -13 with light winds. 

   

26 NOV - TO CAMP 3 IN A WHITEOUT

After a 14km ski, in complete whiteout, we have arrived at Camp 3 (80°12'579 and 80°33'941).

We were on the move for 6 hours and 15 minutes negotiating the challenging Greenland size sastrugis.  For those unfamiliar with satrugis, here’s the definition... sharp irregular grooves or ridges formed on a snow surface by wind erosion, saltation of snow particles, and deposition. We’ve posted a stock image so that you get an even better idea of our challenges today!

We have reached an altitude of 771m which is half the gain over the next 550km to the Thiel mountains at 1500m where our first resupply cache will be awaiting us. 

The temperature at Camp 3 is currently -12 with light winds.

We plan to walk 7 hours tomorrow and, with less height gain, we anticipate that we will cover more ground.

 

Einar and the South Pole team

 
Sastrugis - stock photo
27 November 2014

Sastrugis

24 NOV - EXPEDITION IS UNDERWAY

We have departed at last. We flew to Hercules Inlet and started walking at 13:15. We skied 10 km and were moving for 5 active hours. The terrain was quite steep - we gained 310m and are now at 500m above sea level.

 

Einar and the South Pole team

 
First day en route from Hercules Inlet


Camp one

23 NOV - ARRIVAL IN ANTARCTICA!

The team have arrived in Antarctica in fantastic weather. They are spending some time organising their equipment and then will hopefully start the expedition proper tomorrow.

 
Welcome to Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica!

20 NOV - TEAM ALL TOGETHER IN PUNTA ARENAS

The team are in good spirits and doing well. The food bags have been prepared and they, along with all of the equipment, have been packed and loaded on the plane.


We celebrated the completion of the packing with a good lunch followed by a briefing, drinks and nibbles with ALE (Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions).
 

Unfortunately the weather is an issue for the scheduled flight tomorrow so it looks like we’ll be flying to Union Glacier Saturday.
 

We wrapped up our day with salads and beer, two things we will not get a lot of in Antarctica.
 

Best regards,
Einar for the South Pole All the Way Team

 

 
South Pole ATW 2014 - Team photo Punta Arenas
21 November 2014
20 November 2014

Team photo in Punta Arenas - Tim Garrett, Hugh Dougall and William Morrison

South Pole ATW -
21 November 2014
20 November 2014

Punta Arenas

South Pole ATW - Food shop Punta Arenas
21 November 2014
20 November 2014

Territoric Antarctica Chile

South Pole ATW - Food shop Punta Arenas 2
21 November 2014
20 November 2014

Food shop in Punta Arenas
South Pole ATW - Team packing
21 November 2014
20 November 2014

Tim Garrett, Hugh Dougall, William Morrison with food bags
South Pole ATW 2014 - Celebratory lunch
21 November 2014
20 November 2014

South Pole ATW 2014 - Celebratory lunch 2
21 November 2014
20 November 2014

Celebratory lunch



 
   

17 NOV - STARTING SOON

The team members are currently on their way to Punta Arenas where they will all meet up, check equipment prepare for their flights to Antarctica. The 2014/15 South Pole All the way expedition will be commencing soon! Stay tuned as we update you on their progress.

AC Office, on behalf of the South Pole 2014/15 Team

 
Trip leader, Einar Finnsson en route to Punta Arenas
01 December 2014
22 November 2014

Trip leader Einar Finnsson en route from Iceland to Punta Arenas