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The team had a great first day skiing Southward. The plan was to make today a half-day and they stuck to the plan, traveling for 3 hours and 45 minutes. During that time, they made 4.5 nautical miles of progress South. The reason for the half-day is acclimatization. It is common to feel the effects of the high altitude (roughly 10k feet or 3050m).
The team has safely landed on the Antarctic plateau and have taken their first steps on the Last Degree! They began the day by breaking down camp and packing their sleds at Union Glacier before an 8AM breakfast. There was some concern about visibility remaining good at their dropoff, so they took off in the Twin Otter shortly after breakfast. The flight to the last degree is long enough to require a refueling stop, so they didn't touch down on 89 Degrees Latitude until 4PM thi afternoon.
Our team woke this morning, ready to begin their adventure to Antarctica. They were shuttled to the airport, boarded the Ilyushin Il-76, and were wheels-up at 9:00AM. They landed safely at the Union Glacier blue ice runway at just after 1:00PM. It is a short transfer from the runway to the camp itself. They started with a tour of the camp before setting to work organizing gear and setting up tents.
The team had their pre-flight briefing at 4PM today and received word that their flight is on for tomorrow morning at 5:30AM. So, if all goes well they will be on the Antarctic continent tomorrow afternoon!
Welcome to the 2020 South Pole Last Degree Expedition blog! We are delighted to have you following along on this spectacular adventure. We are happy to report that everyone is in Punta Arenas. Kit has been checked and everything is on schedule.