Another consistent day of skiing put out teams past the halfway mark of their expedition today! Spirits are high and everyone is well into the swing of expedition life and used to the Antarctic temperatures. The morning started off cold, but warmed up throughout the day. Conditions were overcast but there was still plenty of contrast. Perfect conditions to tick off a few more miles. Check out the audio updates below from Rob Jeffery and Tamas Seregi, and comment on our Facebook with messages to send to the team!
AUDIO UPDATE FROM KEITH'S TEAM: FEATURING ROB JEFFERY (Warning: Use of sarcastic language) :)
The teams woke up to a clear, cold day roughly 45 nautical miles away from the South Pole. However, as they started skiing, the clouds began to move in, reducing contrast to zero for most of the day. Imagine standing inside a gigantic ping pong ball, not having the horizon, or any of the features in front of you as a reference. Skiing in zero contrast conditions is incredibly taxing both physically and mentally, but both teams accomplished 9 nautical miles South despite the challenges. Keith's team reported that the temperature reached 0°F during their last push while the sun came out for long enough to roast the team. It's hard to imagine being too hot in Antarctica, but it does happen!
Listen to the linked audio update and leave some feedback for the team on our Facebook page!
Photo below from Keith's team featuring right to left (Keith Heger, Rob Burns, Rob Jeffery, Danny Lubert, and Michael Gibbons)
It was a beautiful bluebird day on the Antarctic plateau today with mild winds. The type of day that we dream about, and both of our teams took full advantage, skiing 8.2 and 9 nautical miles respectively. A long day on the trail plus a big dinner is the perfect recipe for a god nights sleep, and that's what our teams are looking forward to tonight. Listen below to audio updates from both teams! PolarExplorers Facebook
Our teams woke up to a sunny and relatively calm day with temperatures hovering around -25°C with a light wind and mostly clear sky. As the day progressed clouds moved in, reducing contrast and visibility while the wind picked up to 20 knots (37kph). The first day of any expedition is spent dialing in equipment, figuring out your layering system, and getting accustomed to the cold. Today was no exception. Both teams set a slow and easy pace to allow ample time for everyone to continue adjusting to the altitude. This evening, Annie's team even had burgers and fries for dinner!
All parties are looking forward to a good rest tonight and another productive day tomorrow. Have a listen to the audio updates from each team below to get the rest of the details! Also follow us on Facebook where the expedition updates will be posted each day and leave a note in the comments for us to pass on to the team!
Both teams have successfully made it to the Last Degree where they will begin skiing. After a final morning of anticipation, our two teams loaded up one two separate Twin Otter planes and began the journey to their expedition start point. The flight is long enough that the planes need to make a stop to refuel, at which Annie's team reported to have met several of the Ice Maidens (an all female team skiing coast to coast across Antarctica). Our teams were dropped off around 7:15pm in beautiful conditions. -25°C temperatures with markedly less wind than at Union Glacier. Both teams chose to ski for a short distance (around half a nautical mile) to get their blood flowing and warm up before setting up camp. When they checked in, everyone was in excellent spirits, and settling in for their first night on the Last Degree. Listen below to their respective audio updates and stay tuned for more!
Photo by Eric Lillstrom (South Pole Last Degree 2017)
Our Last Degree Ski team is doing well and enjoying their time at Union Glacier. They spent the day preparing to leave for the 89th Degree of Latitude which will happen tomorrow at noon if conditions cooperate. Team member, and North Pole alum, Danny Lubert called in with the update this evening. Below is the transcript of his audio update.
Our Last Degree ski team is on Antarctica! The team took off late yesterday and flew through the night, landing at Union Glacier at 2:30am this morning (UTC-3). Upon arrival they had a short briefing, followed by a tour of the camp and a hot meal before setting up tents and getting a few more hours of sleep.
The team was up at 11:00AM for brunch, and plan to spend the day making all final preparations and practicing some polar travel skills so they are ready to fly to the 89°S tomorrow (If the weather allows). It is currently -5°C at Union Glacier Camp with a light breeze, the perfect transition temperature before heading to the Antarctic plateau. Stay tuned for another update this evening!
The team has successfully gathered in Punta Arenas without incident. Everyone's luggage arrived on time and they are taking care of any last minute gear requirements. To celebrate the turning of the New Year, our team walked to the waterfront to watch the fireworks over the Straits of Magellan. Today, the team enjoyed a private tour of the area surrounding Punta Arenas by bus, before finishing off the evening with a welcome reception.
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