Dispatches - South Pole All the Way 2014/15

January 19, 2015

In the Southern Hemisphere summer of 2014/15, when the sun is in the sky 24-hours each day, Adventure Consultants operated a two-month expedition on skis across the vast expanse of Antarctica, from the edge of the continent to the South Pole. 

Dispatches - South Pole All The Way 2014/15 

Our 2014/15 expedition runs from November 19, 2014 to 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 1,200km/746 miles 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! 

Expedition Leader: Einar Finnsson, Iceland
Expedition members:
Tim Garrett – Australia
Hugh Dougall – Canada
William Morrison – United Kingdom

17 November 2014 – Starting Soon
01The 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      

20 November 2014 – Team All Together in Punta Arenas
03The 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). 

04Unfortunately, the weather is an issue for the scheduled flight tomorrow so it looks like we’ll be flying to Union Glacier on 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

0923 November 2014 – Arrrival 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.

24 November 2014 – Expedition is Underway
We have departed at last. We flew to Hercules Inlet and started walking at 1:15pm. We skied 10km and were moving for 5 active hours. The terrain was quite steep - we gained 310m and are now at 500m above sea level.

10Einar and the South Pole team

26 November 2014 – 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.

12For 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. Quite the challenge today!

We have reached an altitude of 771m, which is half the gain over the next 550km to the Thiel mountains at 1,500m, where our first resupply cache will be awaiting us.

The temperature at Camp 3 is currently -12°C 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

27 November 2014 - 7 Hours & 18.2km to Camp 4
11We had our first full day of 7 hours for a distance of 18.2km. During the day we experienced whiteout 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°C with light winds.

1328 November 2014 – Whiteout Conditions Continue to Hamper Progress
Today we were once again greeted with whiteout 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°C with light winds.

Hugh and Einar at Camp 5

30 November 2014 – 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 the Ellsworth 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 the famous sandpaper snow. We moved for 7 hours and made it 20.6km to Camp 7 at 80°53'040 S and 80°26'878 W. We can still see the Ellsworth range and for a while, we saw two peaks in the east.

Best regards,

Einar on behalf of the South Pole All the Way Team

1 December 2014 – Rest Day
1514Hi. 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. Everyone is fine.

Best regards,

Einar

3 December 2014 – Weather Much Improved
17The last two days have been good. The weather has been fine, winds from 4 to 12 knots, sunny and the temperature at -13°C. Yesterday we covered 22km 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 Mounts Goodwin and Tidd. I guess the distance is close to 100km away from us. All is well with the group, just a few blisters, as to be expected.

Regards,

Einar

5 December 2014 - 200km 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 completed 200km. And, of course, we listened to music on Tim’s iPad during dinner.

We are now at 218km and 3 days away from our first cache. The weather has been sunny and the sastrugis are not too big, but always there. The temperature is fairly warm now at -9°C which is much easier than the -17°C we had a few days ago. We still ski with masks that protect our faces from sunburn.

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

7 December 2014 – The Team Celebrates Another Degree
1918Yesterday started well with beautiful weather and moderate wind. We had views of Mount 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 our energy for later so, after a mere 16.9km in 5½ 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 our first day without seeing any mountains on the horizon. We are now alone in this white desert. We have passed the 82 degree line and we have only one day left before we 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

9 December 2014 – To the First Cache
20Yesterday 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 were bigger than we had seen before. Progress was slow in the morning, but with a little extra push we arrived at the cache by 6:45pm, traveling 23.9km in 7 hours and 45 minutes.

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

So today, after reorganising the pulkas and the new food, we left camp at 1:00pm. We encountered really big sastrugis but the weather was good and we made 13.5km in 4 hours and 45 minutes.

Tonight, we camp at Camp 15, 82°24'371 S 80°54'809 W.

Best regards,

Einar

11 December 2014 – The Team Crosses the 300km Mark
21The 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 19.8km yesterday, setting up Camp 16 at 82°34'960 S 80°48'588 W and 20.4km today to Camp 17 at 82°45'895 S 80°42'719 W.

This morning we repaired Tim's ski. It was delaminating at the 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 318km, with 259km to go to Thiel’s Corner where our next cache is waiting.

Best regards,

Einar

13 December 2014 – Into a Daily Routine
2322Our daily routine has become very organised. We wake up at 6am, 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. This can take up to an hour and a half.

24We normally start skiing at 8:45am and we ski for four segments 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 5:30pm and 6pm and set up the camp. That takes up to an hour and a half and then of course we have dinner. Dinner is finished around 9pm and we are normally snoring (according to Tim) soon after 10pm.

25Yesterday the terrain was better than on 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, arriving at Camp 19 at 83°08'547 S 80°40'925.

Einar for the South Pole All the Way Team

14 December 2014 – One Third of the Distance Done
2726On 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 20.7km to Camp 19 at 83°08'547 S 80°40'925 W.

Today we had excellent weather, despite a cloudy forecast, and we covered 21.4km to Camp 20 at 83°20'020 S 80°35'620 W. The 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 380km with 195km remaining to our next cache at Thiel’s 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

16 December 2014 - 400 Kilometres on the Counter
28Hi. 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 normal snow. Pulling the pulkas through this terrible snow, against the wind and through the sastrugis demanded a lot of effort so after travelling 12.7km in 4½ hours we stopped early and put up camp.

This morning the weather was excellent and it 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 so 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, covering 23km in 7 hours.

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 cover in the next 7 days.

Best regards,

Einar

18 December 2014 – 113km to the Next Cache
29Yesterday was a great day, sunny and bright 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 our way through until the early afternoon when we encountered a very difficult section. We travelled 23.9km 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 set up camp before we were in a 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 at one hour and 50 minutes each, so the day ended with 23.3km covered to Camp 24 at 84°04'526 S 80°38'214 W. We now have 113km to go to Thiel’s Corner and the plan is to accomplish that in 5 days.

Best regards,

Einar

20 December 2014 – Reached the 500km Mark
30Over 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 18km in 7 hours and 10 minutes and today we did 19.1km in 7 hours and 20 minutes. The weather forecast says that it should clear up tomorrow afternoon and we all look forward to that.

My plan to get to Thiel’s Corner on the 23rd is getting tight and we might not arrive until the 24th. Everyone is in a good mood despite the hard work and looking forward to arriving at the next cache at Thiel’s 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 500km or 502km 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.

Best regards,

Einar

23 December 2014 – We See Mountains!
3132We have advanced well in the last two days despite some "sand snow" conditions. Yesterday we had breeze from the south and good visibility and made 24km. Today the wind picked up and blowed at around 10 knots from south. We all felt pulling 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 24.1km. We feel quite beaten up after the hard work and look forward to our Christmas break. We now have 27km to go for our next cache at Thiel’s 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 300km of nothing but the white snowy desert. These mountains are towards our northwest and are probably part of the Thiel mountains. This evening the wind has accelerated and is now blowing at 15 knots. This includes a lot of spin drift so I took some 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

25 December 2014 – Merry Christmas Everyone!
33Hi and merry Christmas! Yesterday we pushed along and did the 27km we had left to Thiel’s 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 Thiel’s 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 as wellm, so we get a perfect rest before continuing. The plan is to be considerably faster during the second half of the expedition and arrive at the Pole on the 18th of January. We wish everyone a merry Christmas and hope everyone is having a great time.

Best regards,

Einar

26 December 2014 – Good Start to the Second Half & 600km
34We 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 with our speed. We did 25.8km today and are happy about this good beginning of our second half. Our total distance is now 603km. We learned this evening from Union Glacier that a French couple and their guide departed 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 see the Thiel mountains very well.

Camp 30 at 85°19'023 S 80°56'303 W.

Best regards,

Einar

28 December 2014 – Good Weather & All Going Well
35Yesterday was yet another excellent weather day. For the first time during this expedition I wore only my Bergans woollen t-shirt under my Rab Vapour Rise jacket. There was a point where we descended a good distance and then encountered the steepest hill we have had since 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, 26.6km. 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 of us, the Thiel mountains were bathed in the sunshine and we could see how vast this mountain range actually is. Today's distance was 23.9km and we are now at 1,565m altitude. We still have 180km to go to our next cache and 480km all the way to the Pole. It feels nice to know that we have now done 654km which is considerably more than what is left.

30 December 2014 – Sticky Snow, 86 Degrees and 700km
36Yesterday 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 Thiel mountains can still be seen in the distance but are now quite far. We skied for 7 hours and 30 minutes and covered 25.7km. Today's weather was also very good but with a little more wind than yesterday so we were happy to have 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 24.7km. We reached two important milestones today, we have passed 86°S and made more than 700km.

1 January 2015 – Happy New Year!
37Dear friends, happy new year! We celebrated the new year with a taste of whisky before going early to bed as usual :-).

The last couple of days we have been going strong, as with the days before. The weather has been very good; sunny with a slight wind 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 we did previously and on the "steepest" parts (nothing is really steep here) we now have sastrugis from the south east across our route instead of the normal ones that come from the south south west.

We have climbed over 500m in a week and are now at 1,900m. Yesterday's distance was 24.1km and today we skied 26.2km. This has taken us to a couple of new milestones. We have now done 755km total, which is over two thirds of the way to the Pole and we have now less than 400km to go.

We had hoped to meet the solo kiter that was heading our way but yesterday we spotted his fresh tracks and saw that he had passed slightly east of us. We still hope to meet the French couple and their guide, who should reach the cache at a similar time to us. We will see.

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°C today.

Best regards, 

Einar

3 January 2015 – More Milestones!
38The two last days have been hard. We 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 sometimes could before. Yesterday the glacier landscape was rising fast and before each uphill there was a considerable descent.

When we were scheduled to stop and put up camp, we found ourselves 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 reach the flat with better snow to camp on. As a result, we had a big day: 28km and 200m altitude gain. So, we are now above 2,000m 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 our big day yesterday but after we got going, we did 22km of sastrugi crossings and added some altitude. We are now at 2,150 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 800km point. We have now done 805km.

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

5 January 2015 – Crevasse in the Kitchen
39Yesterday was a big day. We skied 29km to get all the way to our cache in one day. The weather was great - sunny with a breeze from the southeast. We had quite a lot of big sastrugis on the way and some hills up and down. We are now at 2,330m and have gained almost 1,000m in the 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 15cm 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 the guide and I shared information about the routes ahead.

Camp 39 at 87°22'999 S 82°15'138 W.

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

Best regards,

Einar

7 January 2015 – More Crevasses and Cooler Weather
40Yesterday morning we started with heavy pulkas - full of provisions and fuel. We followed the advice of the Norwegian guide and headed in a slightly easterly direction following his 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 8km 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 iss -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 a mere 18.6km in more than 7 hours, which is one of the lowest speeds we have logged 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 2,480m.

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

9 January 2015- It's Cool at 88°S
41In the 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 20.3km yesterday and 21.7km 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 2,610m 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 my Rab Vapour Rise jacket. I am wearing three layers of socks in my shoes, fleece trousers under my Mountain Equipment Fitzroy pants and a polar skirt. Taking windchill into account, the temperatures we are experiencing are equal to – 30°C to -38°C. My three companions all have minor frost bite; one on the nose, another on the thighs and the third on his 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 900km. We have 217km to go to the Pole.

11 Janaury 2015 – Two Cold Days
42The 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 equates to -40°C according to Tim's wind chill table. We could not take 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 18km despite the wind , sticky snow and bad conditions. One of the things that we are fighting in these low temperatures is that goggles and sunglasses 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 it.

Today the temperature was still -27°C, but the wind was much lower than yesterday so it was a good travel day. We made 23km today so we have only 176km to go. This will probably take us eight more days so arrival at the Pole hopefully on the 19th.

13 Janaury 2015 – Cold Weather and 'Sand Snow'
43The 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 21km to 22km per day. Yesterday we did 21.7km and today 21.4km in 7 hours and 20 minutes 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 997km and there are only 133km to go.

15 January 2015 – The Last Degree in White Out
The last two days, our progress is steady but rather slow. We did 19.2km yesterday and 21.2km 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 3cm 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°C 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 at 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 1,000 km. Today we have 1,037km on the counter and 93KM to go. We continue to aim for an arrival at the Pole on the 19th.

17 January 2015 – Hard Pulling and Cold Weather
Yesterday we had another day with very poor visibility, very cloudy and a few snow grains falling. Temperatures from -19°C 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 to the plan: 23.5km.

This morning the temperature was -23°C 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 how cold it was in our hands during breaks. When we camped it was -30°C with about 10 knots wind. Today's skiing conditions were 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 days of the expedition.

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

19 January 2015 – We Made it to the Pole!!
I found yesterday quite hard. The snow was sticky (as it has been for the past few days) and I was not feeling particularly good. The cold is now intense enough to freeze the evaporation from our bodies before it reaches the outer layers so the breathing capacity of our clothes is largely reduced and they are damp or half wet by the evening. We managed to make it to 2,109km 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 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 6:30pm and got a warm welcome from the ALE staff at the Pole. After 1,130km, 57 days of travel and 53 days of skiing, we have finally made it.

Yippee!

Best regards,

Einar
44

 

 

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