Amundsen/Scott : Extreme cold for both teams

Published on 02.01.2012 - The Scott Amundsen Centenary Race

Since they reached the Plateau, both teams have to endure most terrific temperatures -with no doubt the coldest they knew so far : - 48°C for Amundsen Team, about the same lowest for Scott team (with wind chill).

How fast can the weather change ...

These last days both teams have reporting how the weather is quickly changeable in the Antarctic. Within minutes, the weather can turn from blizzards and white out to absolutely glorious sunshine and clear skies ; actually, that what's happened to Amundsen team on 26 December. The same day, they had tropical temperatures when leaving the tent in the morning, and the next day, the temperature dropped to minus 30°C.

In the meantime, the Amundsen two guys team is gaining time on the other team, notwithstanding the extreme conditions (these extremely low temperatures) they encounter on the Plateau. Quite often, both men have to make detours to avoid the crevasses zones and the everlasting sastrugis fields. But as one can notice on the table below, the pair is still progressing regularly southwards. No more than 107 Nm to go to reach SP versus 236 Nm for Scott team.

Amundsen team

  • 1 January - Day 60 : 88°12'34" S - 174°1'56" W / Wind: 19 mph southeasterly / Temperature: -48°c wind chill / Altitude: 10,475 ft / Daily distance travelled: 12.4 Nm : Total distance travelled: 591.8 Nm / Distance to the Pole: 107 Nm / Weather: Very good visibility but cold.
  • 31 December - Day 59 : 88°0'18" S - 173°13'25" W / Wind: 25 mph / Temperature: -44°c wind chill / Altitude: 10,430 ft / Daily distance travelled: 0.0 Nm / Total distance travelled: 579.4 Nm / Distance to the Pole: 119 Nm / Weather: Very cold with gusting winds.
  • 30 December - Day 58 : 88°005066 S - 173.22366 W
  • 29 December - Day 57 : no datas.
  • 28 December - Day 56 : 87°36'27" S - 174°15'41 W / Wind: 10 mph / Temperature: -35°c wind chill / Altitude: 10,086 ft / Daily distance travelled: 15.3 Nm / Total distance travelled: 554.9 Nm / Distance to the Pole: 143 Nm / Weather: Good to start then awful later
  • 27 December - Day 55 : 87°21'17" S - 173°8'55" W / Wind: 8 mph : Temperature: -30°c wind chill / Altitude: 9,900 ft / Daily distance travelled: 14.2 nmi : Total distance travelled: 539.6 Nm / Distance to the Pole: 159 Nm / Weather: Very good, light breeze.
  • 26 December - Day 54 : 87°7'13" s - 173°19'9" W / Wind: Nil / Temperature: -6°c / Altitude: 9,625 ft / Daily distance travelled: 14.4 Nm / Total distance travelled: 525.4 Nm / Distance to the Pole: 173 Nm /i Weather: Very good, warm, good visibility.

Scott team

  • 1 January - Day 60 : 86°4'18" S - 160°30'54" E / Wind: 15-20 mph / Temperature: -22 (-40 wind chill) / Altitude: 8,847 ft / Daily distance travelled: 13.5 Nm / Total distance travelled: 542.3 Nm / Distance to the Pole: 236 Nm / Weather: Very clear, very windy.
  • 31 December - Day 59 : 85°38'34" S - 160°26'46" E / Wind: 18-24 mph southerly / Temperature: -24 (-38 wind chill) / Altitude: 8,500 ft / Daily distance travelled: 12.3 Nm / Total distance travelled: 528.8 Nm / Distance to the Pole: 250 Nm / Weather: Very cold, strong southerly wind.
  • 30 December - Day 58 : no datas.
  • 29 December - Day 57 : no datas.
  • 28 December - Day 56 : 85°18'4" S - 160°9'13" E / Wind: 3-6 mph northerly / Temperature: -8 (-18 wind chill) / Altitude: 7,830 ft / Daily distance travelled: 9.2 Nm / Total distance travelled: 495.9 Nm / Distance to the Pole: 282 Nm / Weather: Poor visibility, low cloud.
  • 27 December - Day 55  : 85°S9'17" S - 160°41'26" E / Wind: 3-5 mph northerly / Temperature: -8 (-14 wind chill) / Altitude: 7,697 ft / Daily distance travelled: 11.8 Nm : Total distance travelled: 486.7 Nm / Distance to the Pole: 290 Nm / Weather: Bright & sunny.
  • 26 December - Day 54 : 85°0'5" S - 162°6'40" E / Wind: 3-5 knts southerly / Temperature: -15 (-18 wind chill) / Altitude: 7,648 ft : Daily distance travelled: 6.0 Nm / Total distance travelled: 475 Nm / Distance to the Pole: 300 Nm / Weather: Cloudy, some sunny spells.
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