The team had another momentous day travelling across the Antarctic Plateau. They covered 8 nautical miles in 9 hours of travel, taking short breaks every hour or so. The weather has remained beautiful and crisp with a light wind and temperatures cooling off in the afternoon to around -20. One of the ways they pass the time during the long hours of skiing is by trading riddles. John Gluckman shares the riddle of the day in today's AUDIO UPDATE. Have a listen below! The guys are all in good spirits and excited to be crossing the halfway mark tomorrow. Stay tuned for more!
January 8th South Pole Audio Update: Featuring Keith Heger and John Gluckman READ MORE...
Today was the third day on trail for our Last Degree Ski team and they already have their camp systems dialled-in. They were on skis at 8:45AM; two hours after waking up. It was a beautiful bluebird day for the first several hours, but afternoon brought with it a wall of clouds approaching quickly from the horizon. Before long they were skiing in zero visibility (Jim Lumberg describes the experience in the AUDIO UPDATE). Luckily the clouds didn't last any they skied out the other side, back into sunshine... READ MORE
The team had an excellent first full day on the ice today. As planned, they took the pace slow and skied for just under 5 hours covering 5 nautical miles, allowing several hours for rest and acclimatization in the afternoon. The weather has been stunning. -8°F in the sun this morning with a light wind from the South and mostly clear skies. After their afternoon naps, the guys gathered together for a dinner of whitefish, veggies, and pasta then settled down for the evening...READ MORE
The team was indeed able to fly to the Last Degree this morning! Everyone is excited and relieved to finally have their work in front of them. Jim Lumberg describes the day perfectly in the daily audio update so please listen for details. The temperature is -10°F with a light wind; Perfect skiing weather for the Antarctic Plateau!
It has been another day of waiting for our Last Degree team, but not a day spent idly. The conditions were not favorable for a flight to the Last Degree so the team took advantage of the opportunity to explore the area surrounding Union Glacier Camp. They packed their sleds and skied out for a mock camp set-up where they set up tents, tested stoves, and melted some water. Back in camp, they had a nice bike ride around camp (yes the camp has a supply of bikes!) and overall enjoyed the experiences that Union Glacier has to offer. The tentative schedule for tomorrow is to fly to the Last Degree after breakfast! At that point 60 nautical miles of adventure will be standing between them and the bottom of the globe. Stay tuned for more updates and as always, listen to the AUDIO UPDATE below.
It was an exciting day for the Last Degree Ski team. They were picked up at 5:45AM and taken to the airport to board the flight to Antarctica. The plane went wheels up at 9:15AM and after a 4-hour flight, landed at Union Glacier Camp. The team got settled and had lunch with some of the teams that were waiting to fly back to Punta Arenas. Our team spent the afternoon exploring the camp, packing their sled bags, and taking their skis for a test drive. The weather is clear and calm at -11°C with no wind however it seems that there may be some incoming weather. The next step is another flight from Union Glacier to the 89th Degree where their journey will begin in earnest. Stay tuned for updates and listen below to the daily AUDIO UPDATE.
The team spent what will hopefully be their last day in Punta Arenas making their final preparations. The logistics crew gathered luggage this morning and transported it to the airport where it was loaded onto the Iluyshin-76 which will take the team to Antarctica. The latest update is that our team will be picked up at 5AM from their hotel and proceed to the airport for an on-schedule flight... READ MORE
This New Year's day has been one of excitement and apprehension for our team in Punta Arenas. The team spent New Year's eve finishing gear checks and sorting all of their group kit before celebrating the ringing in of the New Year with fireworks on the waterfront. Today, the guys had their pre-flight briefing with the other travelers who will be joining them on their flight to the white continent. Tomorrow the team's gear will be picked up and taken to the plane for loading and they will have their first update on the flight schedule which is looking good at this time... READ MORE
Most people who venture out into the cold nowadays have at least heard about layering. The beauty of a good layering system is the ability to adapt it to any conditions or type of activity. Are you doing it right? If you’re still struggling to find the right combination of clothing for a given activity, maybe this will help.
Next to the Skin
Keep your first layer light and comfortable.
When choosing your baselayer, keep in mind you’re going to be wearing it all the time. You’ll want something close fitting but not restrictive. When in doubt choose a thinner layer, because it’s much easier to add a layer than to change into a lighter base layer during the middle of the day. The main function of the base layer is moisture management. You need a fabric that will wick moisture well. Wool is best, but there are good synthetic options out there too. However, wool is vastly superior when it comes to odor management as well (something your tent mates will thank you for). Your baselayer is the foundation of comfort for any cold weather activity so don’t skimp on it. You’ll likely be wearing it for days at a time and be sleeping in it too.
In the world of extreme adventuring, there is always another expedition to be had. Always another mountain to climb, route to accomplish, or journey to experience. However, there is one achievement that many world class adventurers strive for, The Explorers Grand Slam. The Explorers Grand Slam combines climbing the tallest mountain on every continent (The 7 Summits) and skiing at least the Last Degree to the North and South Poles. Each of these expeditions is a challenge in its own right, but most often adventurers complete the 7 summits before continuing on to the Poles. Spending that much time on mountains will turn any climber into an expert, but the North and South Pole offer some distinctly different challenges that can pose a serious threat to those unprepared for the experience.
We asked Ian Clarke (shown LEFT) and John Dahlem (shown RIGHT), both expert expeditioners and Grand Slam completionists, to weigh in on the differences between their Polar Expeditions and 7 Summits. Hopefully their advice will help you in your journey to The Explorers Grand Slam.
One of our favorite adventures isn't at the top or bottom of the world (though Svalbard is pretty close!) but is is all about how you GET to the top or bottom of the world. If you are looking for a good adventure, even if you have no aspirations of traveling to the North or South Poles, our Polar Shakedown Training can shake up your life in all sorts of good ways. Here are five reasons to put our Polar Shakedown Training on your bucket list.