Belgians Dansercoer and Deltour arrived at the SP
Published on 22.12.2011 - Antarctic Ice Expedition
After F. Aston and Ousland's clients (the ones coming from Axel Heiberg not the the last 2 degrees group), the Antarctic Ice Expedition is the third one to reach the Pole these last two days (on 21 December). But Dixie and Sam have still a lot to travel.
Pretty good serie
After their crazy ride of 151 km last saturday 17 December, they had a 0 km on their counter on Sunday. Then they started flying again with 105 km the next day (Monday), achieving another good distance -96.7 km- on Tuesday to finish this top serie with a good 60 km on Wednesday. They could have gone faster that last day and make more mileage ; but the pair had reached their first big destination, the South Pole (on 21 December). What a relief !
Here is Sam's narrative of their arrival to the Amundsen Scott Research American base : "... 20 kilometers to go to the Pole. Then it started snowing and the wind dropped all the way. Really, the wind was gone. Dixie could still go very slowly with his 30 meter Nasawing, but I was standing still with my 50 meter kite. I had to do something, so I started walking on my skis with the kite attached to me. At one point the wind dropped so far that my kite fumbled out of the air. Dixie told me over the radio that we could maybe put the kites away and start walking - another 18 kilometers!"
"But I didn't want to give in and then I did something perhaps a little revolutionary and downright gawkish in the polar explorer world. I allowed the kite to pull me the little bit that it could, took out a walking stick, and started pursuing Dixie in this limping fashion. I was not going very fast, and it certainly wasn't graceful, but I was at least advancing. It must have been quiet a sight! I did this for about half an hour, all the while thinking, 'We must get there! We must get there!' I started sweating like crazy, took off my helmet, opened my jacket, and kept giving it all I had."
1.760 km in 30 days
"The wind eventually picked up and we started moving again together via kite power. And then, we became surrounded by fog. For the next hour we were completely shrouded and could barely see anything. Suddenly, as in a dream, there it was. Emerging from out of the fog, in this endless icy desert, there were grey shapes revealing themselves in front of us. Buildings !?! We made it! We made it to the South Pole!" ..."
The distance done so far is 1759.2 km in 30 days (they were re-deposited on the ice on 22 November and have re-started their expedition) ; that gives an average of 58.6 km each day.
By the way Julie Brown has posted a webpage where one can track the belgian's route on a map. On this map one can better visualize the route that the two Belgians have still to cover -at least to follow their original plan/target.