South Pole and Back - Ski & Kite

Expedition News-Official Website

From 31.10.2011 to - Status: success

Richard Weber is on the (polar) road again

Richard Weber is on the (polar) road again

© Weber's website

Famous polar explorer Richard Weber together with Josée Auclair are taking clients to an unsupported trek to the South Pole from Messner Start (Filchner Ice Shelf) (900 km) with the return by kite-skiing.

Here is how this adventure is described in Richard's website : "... This adventure starts in Punta Arenas, Chile. We spend two days in “Punta.” There is a pre-flight briefing and luggage weigh-in. Punta Arenas is very close to some great penguin rookeries and well worth exploring. From Punta Arenas, we’ll board a chartered Alyushin jet to fly across the Drake Passage and over the mainland of Antarctica. After a four and a half hour flight, we’ll land at the Patriot Hills base camp and spend a few days at Patriot Hills acclimatizing and training.

" A short flight takes us to the Messner Start on the Filchner Ice Shelf. We will start with a couple of shorter stays, but quickly ramp up to a work day of 8-9 hours of walking and skiing. Sleds will weigh about 70 kg at the start. The goal is to make the journey in 35 days – plus or minus two days. This is an average day of about 15 nautical miles. The conditions are hard and icy at the start. Sasstrugi, sharp irregular grooves in the snow, are hit or miss for most of the trek but disappears in the last stretch of the trip. We start at sea level and climb to almost 10,000 feet at the South Pole. The low pressure in the South Pole can make the altitude feel more like 12,000 or 13,000 feet.

" It will be summer, so the sun is strong and temperatures of -10C to -35C can be expected.

" At the Pole, we will have a chance to visit the American base. An aircraft will arrive from Patriot Hills to resupply the team, and bring them their kiting gear.

"Kite-skiing is unpredictable. The trip could take anywhere from 10 to 20 days, but 14 days is a good estimate, depending on the winds. This is a chance to experience and enjoy the vast surroundings and the complete silence that is Antarctica. The journey will finish back at the Messner Start...

"Several days are built into the itinerary to accommodate for weather delays, which are normal in Antarctica."



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