Another tourist out !

Published on 23.12.2011 - South Pole and Back - Ski & Kite

For businessman Chris de Lapuente who had a broken wrist and an injured knee, the game is over. His dream has come to an end on 22 December when he was a mere eight days ski from his goal.

Lets the businessman tell himself the narrative of his unfortunate abandon (this update is dated 23 December) : "... Well the dream of reaching the South Pole as part of an unsupported expedition ended yesterday when I was airlifted off Antarctica only 7 days away from our destination."

"The other day (20th) we managed 18km in 8 hours and then had to stop due to a whiteout and the pain in my knee. My leg had swollen up to the size of a tree trunk and even on maximum pain killers the going was very tough. I developed a huge blister on my left foot as I'd had to change my gait to protect my bad leg. However, the good news was that my right arm was a little better and the bruising had gone down enough for me to be able to take my socks and one boot off! The splint on my left wrist ensured that I still needed help with the other boot. What a disaster! We all agreed that I needed to be looked at by a doctor and we made the decision to call the plane. However, the arrival of the plane was dependent upon the weather, which was not good."

"The following day (21st) was also a whiteout, so we were in the tent all day, resting, waiting for the weather to clear so that the plane could come and pick me up. It was obvious I wasn't getting any better and I was conscious that not only could I be doing long term damage to my knee but I was also holding the team up.So yesterday (22nd), I was airlifted off and taken via the South Pole to Union Glacier. ..."

Of course this is a sad end for Chris. But one can also look at that story with other ends : in some respects, it has shown that even if the people guided by Richard Weber were only so called 'normal tourists', they have proved that they can surpass themselves when they needed to and have demonstrated to the outside world that conquering the South Pole was not an easy task after all...

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