South Pole Emperor Odyssey 2015

Nov 27

To the south pole

Published at 22:10
Dispatch created from email
We are at 83 degrees south and heading to the pole. We struck a lucky weather window and without a moments hesitation decided to go for it. But this is no easy journey, indeed a Herculean effort for some.

First we flew 5 hours from the airbase to this refuelling camp at 83 degrees south and 3000m altitude, where the temperature often exceeds -40, even at this time of year. Here the unpressurised Basler aircraft is refuelled which takes around an hour, passengers outside in the cold, their first taste of the Antarctic plateau.

From 83 we continue 2 hours to the South Pole. Our departure from the airbase, which is on South Africa time, is timed so that we arrive at SP during the station's daytime, it being on New Zealand time. We have a two hour tour of the station with the usual photos at the ceremonial pole before flying back to 83 where we camp for the night, to give pilots their duty rest.

Next day after a leisurely breakfast we return to the airbase and drive down to the guesthouse. A 36-hour marathon but worth everyone second. And for me it's a big relief as it's the primary goal of this tour.

Pic of the Basler and Arctic Trucks Toyota Hilux at the 83 camp and fuel depot.

  • Name: 83degrees
  • Elevation: 3100 m
  • Latitude: 83° 240South
  • Longitude: 20° 330East


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