Arrival of the motorists

Published on 11.12.2011 - Thompson Reuters Eikon South Pole Expedition

Three drivers have arrived at Union Glacier ALE base camp on 4 December. They brought a special equiped car with them. To try to break a speed record, of course...

From now on, in the updates of this drive, we are not going to hear about physical strains or stress, human achievements, efforts, mental motivation, pain and injuries of all kind and so on. No. The items of the agenda will rather concern fuel, barrels engine, fuel cache drop, gas, 4 wheel drive, oil, tyre, rim and other mechanical subjets.

Saying that we are not going to hear about physical stress is not completely true : on Tuesday 6 December, as the trio was on its way to put the fuel depots in place on the way to the South Pole (in fact they will need two), one of the team members (sitting in the back seat of the car) wrote that he was like riding in the back of a 4 wheel drive washing machine...! Tiring enough, don't you think ?

Two days later Jason 'JT' Thomas wrote : "... I was making good time and more importantly good fuel economy. In fact, not to toot my own horn too much, but I had just had the best fuel consumption average and most distance travelled of any single one-hour block yet. Though, we were going down hill and had dropped off 600 litres of fuel..." What a feat !!!

And talking about mechanics, bad luck for these people : on their way to make the fuel depots, they got stuck in a trough of snow : " ... At first we just thought it was stuck so we went through the procedures of getting it out, but that didn't work. Jason got out and had a look around the vehicle and instantly knew something was wrong. The front left tyre was completely flat. Anyway, the rim cracked. So we had to set up the tent, turn on the stove and wait for one of ALE's Twin Otters to come out to us..."

Who says it's an easy ride driving in the Antarctic ?

On 10 December, the attempt for the world record is not on yet... The car must be repared first !

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