Amundsen team is entering Axel Heiberg / Scott team is approaching Beardmore

Published on 10.12.2011 - The Scott Amundsen Centenary Race

The famous TransAntarctic Mountain Range which divides Antarctica into two parts

The famous TransAntarctic Mountain Range which divides Antarctica into two parts

© IPF

What a relief for the teams : they are finally almost over with the immensity of the Ross iceshelf. Now they enter a different world, the TransAntarctic Mountain Range. Amundsen team is begginning the ascent, the Scott team needs few more days to do so.

A taste of History

The three largest mountain ranges on the Antarctic continent are the Transantarctic Mountains (abbreviated TAM), the West Antarctica Ranges, and the East Antarctica Ranges. The Transantarctic Mountains compose a mountain range in Antarctica which extend, with some interruptions, across the continent from Cape Adare in northern Victoria Land to Coats Land. These mountains divide East Antarctica and West Antarctica. They include a number of separately named mountain groups, which are often again subdivided into smaller ranges.

The Transantarctic Mountains were first seen by Captain James Ross in 1841 from the Ross Sea. The range is a natural barrier that must be crossed to reach the South Pole from the Ross Ice Shelf. In 1908, while not making the pole, Ernest Shackleton's party was the first to cross the mountains, using the Beardmore Glacier. Robert Scott returned to the Beardmore in 1911, while Roald Amundsen crossed the range via the Axel Heiberg Glacier.

Much of the range remained unexplored until the late 1940s and 1950s, when missions such as Operation Highjump and the International Geophysical Year made extensive use of aerial photography and concentrated on a thorough investigation of the entire continent. The name "Transantarctic Mountains" were recommended in 1962 by the US-ACAN committee, a US authority for geographic names. This purely descriptive label (in contrast to many other geographic names of the seventh continent) is internationally accepted at present.

Explorer A. Hubert looking at the A. Heiberg glacier at the time of his entire crossing of Antarctica (1997-98)

Explorer A. Hubert looking at the A. Heiberg glacier at the time of his entire crossing of Antarctica (1997-98)

© IPF

Their Latest Figures / Amundsen Team

10 December - Day 38 : 85°19'25" S / 162°22'13" W / Wind: Nil / Temperature: -2°c / Altitude: 980ft / Daily distance travelled: 13.1 nmi : Total distance travelled: 392.4 nmi / Distance to the Pole: 281 nmi / Weather: Very flat light.

9 December - Day 37 : 85° 06' 56" S / 163° 07' 32" W / Wind: Nil / Temperature: 2°c / Altitude: 791ft / Daily distance travelled: 14.2 nmi / Total distance travelled: 379.3 nmi / Distance to the Pole: 294 nmi /  Weather: Very hot, low cloud, ok visibility.

8 December - Day 36 : 84°52'55" S / 162°43'04" w / Wind: 20mph / Temperature: -13°c / Altitude: 382ft / Daily distance travelled: 16.3 nmi / Total distance travelled: 365.1 nmi /  Distance to the Pole: 308 nmi / Weather: Some wind, flat light, OK.

7 December - Day 35 : 84°37'14" S / 163°28'9" W / Wind: 30-38mph, gusting to 45mph / Temperature: -19°c / Altitude: 403ft / Daily distance travelled: 15.6 nmi / Total distance travelled: 348.8 nmi / Distance to the Pole: 323 nmi / Weather: Very strong wind.

6 December - Day 34 : 84°21'44" S / 163°27'05" W / Wind: 37mph gusting to 45mph / Temperature: -17°c / Altitude: 289ft / Daily distance travelled: 11.4 nmi / Total distance travelled: 333.2 nmi / Distance to the Pole: 339 nmi / Weather: Very windy, no visibility.

5 December - Day 33 : 84°10'36" S / 163°04'20" W / Wind: 9mph / Temperature: -10°c wind chill / Altitude: 286ft / Daily distance travelled: 17.4 nmi / Total distance travelled: 321.8 nmi / Distance to the Pole: 350 nmi / Weather: Perfect, glorious sunshine.

4 December - Day 32 :  83°53'17" S / 162°55'35" W / Wind: 10mph southerly / Temperature: -14°c wind chill / Altitude: 324ft / Daily distance travelled: 17.1 nmi / Total distance travelled: 304.4 nmi / Distance to the Pole: 368 nmi / Weather: Snow in morning then fine.

3 December - Day 31 : No datas available.

2 December - Day 30 :  83°20'19" S / 163°17'38" W / Wind: 10mph / Temperature: -12°c wind chill / Altitude: 300ft / Daily distance travelled: 16.2 nmi / Total distance travelled: 271 nmi / Distance to the Pole: 401 nmi / Weather: Overcast at first then sunny.

1 December - Day 29 : 83°4'45" S / 163°52'15" W / Wind: 12mph / Temperature: -15°c wind chill / Altitude: 289ft / Daily distance travelled: 16.4 nmi
Total distance travelled: 254.8 nmi / Distance to the Pole: 416 nmi / Weather: Low light but good surface.

The route of both teams

The route of both teams

© Expedition website

Their Latest Figures / Scott Team

10 December - Day 38 :  83°21'01" S / 170°23'33" E /  Wind: 5mph southeasterly / Temperature: -0 to -10°c (-16°c wind chill) / Altitude: 144 ft / Daily distance travelled: 13.6 nmi / Total distance travelled: 352.9 nmi/ Distance to the Pole: 397 nmi / Weather: Grey, overcast, cleared later.

9 December - Day 37 :  83°8'17" S / 169°44'32" E / Wind: 5mph southeasterly / Temperature: -4°c (-9°c wind chilll) / Altitude: 225 ft / Daily distance travelled: 13.4 nmi
Total distance travelled: 339.3 nmi / Distance to the Pole: 411 nmi / Weather: Overcast, warm. 

8 December - Day 36 :  82°55'9" S / 169°27'36" E / Wind: 17mph (gusting 20-25mph) / Temperature: -5°c (-9°c wind chilll) / Altitude: 243 ft / Daily distance travelled: 10.8 nmi / Total distance travelled: 325.9 nmi / Distance to the Pole: 425 nmi / Weather: Strong winds, poor visibility.

7 December - Day 35 : 82°44'16" S / 169°14'24" E / Wind: No data / Temperature: No data / Altitude: 221 ft / Daily distance travelled: 0 nmi / Total distance travelled: 315.1 nmi / Distance to the Pole: 436 nmi / Weather: Blizzard, poor visibility

6 December - Day 34 : 8°44'16" S / 169°14'24" E / Wind: 2.5mph / Temperature: -5°c (-8°c wind chill) / Altitude: 221 ft / Daily distance travelled: 14.1 nmi / Total distance travelled: 315.1 nmi / Distance to the Pole: 436 nmi / Weather: Bright, sunny, ideal.

5 December - Day 33 : 82°30'14" S / 169°11'26" E / Wind: 5mph southwesterly / Temperature: -5°c (-9°c wind chill) / Altitude: 250 ft / Daily distance travelled: 12.9 nmi
Total distance travelled: 301 nmi / Distance to the Pole: 450 nmi / Weather: Bright, sunny, brisk wind.

4 December - Day 34 : 82°S17'31" S / 168°58'21" E / Wind: 15knts / Temperature: -9°c (-15°c wind chill) / Altitude: 202 ft / Daily distance travelled: 11.8 nmi / Total distance travelled: 288.1 nmi / Distance to the Pole: 463 nmi / Weather: Good start then cloudy /

3 December - Day 34 : 81°53'23" S / 168°42'52" E / Wind: Nil / Temperature: -2°c / Altitude: 252 ft / Daily distance travelled: 12.8 nmi / Total distance travelled: 263.8 nmi / Distance to the Pole: 487 nmi / Weather: Clear, very hot, no wind.

2 December - Day 34 : 81°40'48" S / 168°28'25" E / Wind: Nil / Temperature: -2.5°c / Altitude: 276 ft / Daily distance travelled: 13.2 nmi / Total distance travelled: 251 nmi : Distance to the Pole: 499 nmi : Weather: Very hot.

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The Coldest Journey (Sir Ranulph Fiennes & Team)

Antarctic 2012-2013 - ongoing

25.10.2012

Sir Ranulph Fiennes is back in the Antarctic for a world first. He will lead a team of explorers to conquer…



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