It is hard to believe that this is the final blog entry from the 2014-2015 PolarExplorers Full South Pole Ski Expedition. For the longest time the expedition felt like it would never arrive, then (especially for the skiers) it probably felt like it would never end!
The boys arrived in Punta Arenas last night and they are easing back into society. Arriving at the end of such a long expedition, especially one that is as physically and emotionally challenging as this, is a bit of a journey itself. The things that were most valued and cherished "out there" suddenly have seemingly little use in civilization. Though each day "out there" was remarkably challenging, it was also very simple. The jump back into such a complex world can feel jarring. Of course there are also wonderful feelings, like the anticipation of seeing family and friends, the overwhelming satisfaction that their goal was reached, and the relief that they no longer have to get up early in -25 temperatures and pack up camp.
As they navigate re-entry to civilization their stomachs will be shouting at them. Among the many things that have little place in their new daily lives are roughly 2,500 calories (a part of the 4,500-5,500 calories a day that they eagerly shoveled down.) Of course "back here" there is no need for 5,500 calories a day. But try telling that to a stomach that has gotten used to a certain routine. The flight attendants on their homeward flights might have a hard time coming up with enough peanut snack bags to satisfy this crew!
We received some great pics of the last day at Union Glacier (see below) and a final audio update from Keith where he thanks his fellow team mates.
Ian, Andy and Bradley were all skiing on behalf of charities who they deeply believe in. Please consider supporting their charities as a way of patting them on the back for a job well done (Ian's charity, Andy's charity, Bradley's charity)
Don't miss out on Keith's final audio update, and check back again soon for our followup interview about the highlights of the expedition.
And if you like being a virtual adventurer check back again soon as we jump to the other end of the world in April 2015. You will be amazed by the differences between the South Pole and the North Pole!
Final selfie before heading to Punta Arenas
Waiting for the plane with a game of Monopoly. Keith claims he won.