South Pole Emperor Odyssey 2015

Dec 04

successful trip

Published at 11:53
Dispatch created from email
At midnight my team flew back to Cape Town, a day early due to approaching bad weather. They , and I, were very happy with the trip, everything went pretty much to schedule. We had the usual delays and waiting and setbacks but Antarctica rewards the patient. It was a magical team this year, such great company and very appreciative of all that wild Antarctica had to offer.

Now I am at the ALCI Airbase making final preparations for my solo expedition to the peaks of Ulvetanna and Holtana in the Drygalski mountains. I will pick up some stove fuel, make a comms plan with the radio room, check the weather and take off into the icy wilderness, hopefully with a following wind so I can use my kites. But here is bad weather forecast for the next two days so we will see about my departure.

This morning I tested a self-arrest system on my sled that I designed back home in the Australian summer, with not a speck of snow around. The system uses 2 sharpened bars that penetrate into the snow if I fall in a crevasse, arresting my fall. I was dubious of it's effectiveness but I tested it on a cornice outside my cabin worked. I couldn't quite believe it worked so well. I tested it again and again and each time it held me and I could climb out with my full weight on it. I don't expect it to work on bare ice but maybe I will be surprised by that too. Needless to say, I don't expect the system will need to be used.

Pic of my sled with the self-arrest system.


  • Name: ALCIAirbase
  • Elevation: 545 m
  • Latitude: 79° 4922South
  • Longitude: 11° 3847East


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