New Route via Reedy Glacier to South Pole

Jan 10

#42:
The Pole.

Published at 04:13
Dispatch created from email
The Pole. Yes,...

These were famous words from Captain Robert Scott upon arriving at the South Pole, spiralling to a despondent...'but under very different circumstances than those expected'. Hoping for priority, Scott's team arrived at the world's most southerly point to find Amundsen's spare tent squarely planted in a gesture of ownership.

Our arrival of course was nothing of the kind. The large Amundsen-Scott South Pole research station has been here for over six decades and is in its 3rd incarnation. I knew what to expect having first skied here in January 1999 and this being my 10th arrival since, half of them overland expeditions. But for Rob and Keith this was years in the making and 34 days in the doing and I feel privileged to have shared the experience with these genuine lovers of adventure. They are worthy explorers. Rarely do people complete a new route to the South Pole let alone see the magnificence of a rarely-seen and never-trod glacier and it's surrounding mountains and these two gents have done it with style and grace, on skis and by bike.

We're now at ALE's South Pole camp where we'll rest until our flight back to Union Glacier. Great to see camp manager and former Tasmania resident Hannah McKeand here. It will be great to be in her capable hands for a little while. And thanks to the broader ALE team for their professional logistical and communications support for our expedition.

Thanks to everyone that followed my blog. As with all things momentous the end is almost anticlimactic. I'll miss writing, I'll miss the camaraderie, I'll miss the boys humour and I'll miss the hard work. And of course I'll miss the many-faced Antarctica, a continent that can enthral you one moment and maul you the next, so poignantly captured in the quotes from the station's namesakes.
- 'Great God. What an awful place'. Robert Scott
- 'The land is like a fairytale'. Roald Amundsen.

Eric

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