Pole to Pole Run with Icetrek - South Pole leg

ene 24

Despacho #26

Publicado a las 17:08
Despacho creado desde email
Hi everyone, and thanks for tuning in over the course of the Antarctic leg
of Pole to Pole Run.

In summary. On Dec 29 Pat, Ming and I flew to Union Glacier runway from
where Pat began his run South Pole, easily jogging the 8km to UG camp. The
following day we left at 7am, sans van, which was not yet ready for the
trip, and Pat ran 70km off the bat in a brand new pair of lightweight
Baffin boots, Ming and I in support on an 800cc Skidoo Skandic. This
machine was to become our saviour, as the van continually gave us troubles,
despite Scotty's best efforts.
For the next few days Pat continued to run 70km and it became clear that
this project would become an exercise in sleep deprivation, the team
averaging 4-5 hours sleep per night. But we were here to support Pat's
dream and so we pushed, all of us, to the brink of exhaustion.

Having guided the North Pole to Canada sector, in a traditional manner on
skis/snowshoes and with sleds, it wasn't until 10 days across Antarctica
that I finally saw Pat as the extraordinary athlete that he is. I've never
before met anyone with such a deep well of mental and physical resilience
and I rate his Pole to Pole achievement as the greatest endurance event in

After a few days Pat pulled back to mostly 50-60km's but the lesser
distances were countered by the decrease in temperature and the softer snow
conditions. We had passed the Thiel Mountains and had entered the plateau
where brittleness and austerity reign. Pat was slowing down and the
well-rehearsed gait of the ultra-runner was slowly being replaced by the
survival shuffle of man nearing the end of his capacity for self-propelled
locomotion. Ming and I too began to suffer, ironically from lack of
movement, and we felt the cold stiffly as we tag-teamed on the skidoo for 2
to 4 hourly stints. Scotty, enshrined in the drivers seat of the heated
cabin, suffered too as he fretted over a lost folder of movies on his

The final day was overcast with a stiff wind from the south east. Normally
one can see the buildings of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station from
20km out, but they only emerged when we were less than 10km out. By then
the van had completely died and Pat pulled ahead, proving once again that
flesh is greater than machine. With Ming and I on the trusty skidoo, we
tracked Pat as he hurtled the last few hundred metres to the official South
Pole marker, thus reaching, predominantly on foot, the antipode of his
start point, the North Pole, on April 5 2011. Ironically, that same April
5, having been flown to North Pole together, we said goodbye to Johan
Nilsen, a Swedish adventurer also attempting a sel-propelled Pole to Pole
(skiing, cycling, kiting and sailing). He reached Canada a week after us
and went his own way, with no further contact between he and Pat.
Completing one of the most uncanny coincidences in adventuring, Johan and
his guide, coming from Queen Maud Land on the other side of Antarctica, and
Pat arrived at South Pole within 2 minutes of each other!

Pat's historic run to the South Pole was exactly that, a run on foot, no
skis or snowshoes, with the support of a team, a van and a skidoo to cater
for his every need. Though he has become the fastest on foot to reach the
South Pole from the continental edge, his trip can't be compared with
Christian Eide's 24-day ski trek which entailed dragging a sled with all he
required for the journey. Pat's run is a first, no question, and it begs
the question, will others attempt to beat his time of 20 days from Union
Glacier runway to South Pole?

Pat has returned to Puerto Montt to complete the South American section to
Ushuaia in Argentinian Tierra del Fuego, Ming is still at Union Glacier
Camp/Hercules Inlet in Antarctica where is he is filming the impending
arrival of Cas and Jonesy, the two Aussies on the verge of completing a
rare return trip to the South Pole. I am in Punta Arenas, Chile, cleaning
and drying gear, the necessarily evil of every expedition. I look forward
to returning home to my family after a long season: I guided a South Pole
trip via Cape Town before meeting Pat in Punta for Pole to Pole Run.

Thanks again for following this amazing event. And thanks also to our
equipment sponsors: Mont Adventure Equipment, Sea to Summit, Baffin Inc.,
Smith Optics, Smitten Merino, Snowgum and West's Packaging.

And finally, be sure to check out www.icetrek.com and be the next to fulfil
your polar dreams!

*Image captions:*
Pat in full stride
On the trail
Pat and Johan at the geographic South Pole
Ming and I at the symbolic South Pole with the Skidoo
From left, Ming, Scotty, Pat, me
Pat and me at the symbolic South Pole

note: the symbolic and geographic South Pole are 30 metres apart.
  • Distancia acumulada: 1172 km
  • Distancia restante: 0 m


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    2012-01-28 22:01:47 Jose dijo: CONGRATULATIONS! :) Well done! I had any doutb you will do it. I agree with you about Pat and his long journey as the greatest endurance event in history. I wish you a safe return home. Jose
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    2012-01-25 11:57:00 Carl dijo: Nice one Eric
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    2012-01-24 23:06:34 Paul and Kay dijo: Can you give us any indication when you will be back in Sydney? We look forward to seeing you again Congratulations again
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    2012-01-24 22:52:48 Camilo dijo: Amazing!!! well done!! Congratulations.
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    2012-01-24 19:40:32 Jesse dijo: Incredible journey, very fun to watch your trek along the way.

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