The South Geographic Pole
The South Geographic Pole was first reached by Norwegian Roald Amundsen and his team on December 14 1911. The well organized and experienced arctic veteran used sledges and dogs in this journey from the Bay of Whales on the Ross Ice Shelf.
Our expedition will involve travelling 1,100 kms from Hercules Inlet on the Ronne Ice Shelf to the South Pole situated at 2,750 m in altitude near the centre of Antarctica. The Pole will be reached after approximately 60 days of travel pulling sledges varying in weight from 80 kgs down to 30 kgs. There will be three resupply dumps along the way established by ski plane drops from a base at Patriot Hills.
The expedition will be conducted in the southern summer with 24 hours of sun light. High winds and temperatures down to –40c are common at this time of year. The route will involve travelling over snow, ice and navigating difficult wind created formations called
It will be a great test of endurance and team work in the planet’s harshest and loneliest environment.
The North Geographic Pole
The North Geographic Pole was first reached by Americans Robert Peary , Mathew Henson and four Eskimo team members on April 6 1909. It was the culmination of 12 years of arctic exploration and several failed attempts. Like Amundsen, Peary used sledges and dogs reaching the North Pole situated in the frozen Arctic Ocean from Cape Columbia on Ellesmere Island.
Our expedition will travel 770 kms over two months from Ward Hunt Island the most northerly point in Canada to the North Pole. The expedition team will travel pulling sledges and being resupplied from Canada and Russia.
Travelling over the Arctic Ocean will involve navigating the constantly shifting sea ice, pressure ridges, open water leads and counter drift. The spring season of travel is required to have the ocean still well frozen before the summer melt and break up occurs. At this time of year the area has short day lengths, cold temperatures (-45c), high winds and poor visibility.
Due to global warming which has lead to the inconsistent winter freezing of the Arctic Ocean some changes to the plan may need to be undertaken i.e. the use of kayaks in sections of open water.
This expedition provides probably the toughest adventure challenge there is and if successful it will be a suitable finish to the Adventure Grand Slam.