Matrix Shackleton reaches the South Pole…

Published on 18.01.2009 - Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition

The two teams from the Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition have both arrived at the Pole, just a few hours apart, with the pleasant feeling of a job well done.

It was on 18th January that the first three expedition members (Henry Worsley, Will Gow and Henry Adams) arrived safe and sound at the South Pole. They covered 799 nautical miles (1471 km) in 66 days to complete their objective, which was to finish off the aborted expedition of the great Shackleton who, as we remember, turned back 97 miles from the South Pole on his Nimrod expedition in 1909, something that they called "unfinished family business". As Worsley, Gow and Adams reached their goal, the second group was still twenty kilometres or so from the Pole.

A lot of people are wondering  why the two teams didn't travel together once they had met up on the ice, instead of going separately. Expedition leader, Henry Worsley, answered that question on 15th January when he wrote: "Many of you have been asking me why the two teams travelled separately. The original plan had been for us to stay together once we met up at Mile 97. But first of all, our second team, who we called the '97 Mile team', arrived a day behind schedule. We were there waiting for them and of course we want to get on with our journey. We also very much wanted to forge ahead. The second reason was that in view of the fact that the 97 Mile team arrived on the ice without having the time to acclimatise to the altitude and without getting its bearings properly – you know the sorts of things that any team needs to get properly in place during the first days of an expedition – this meant that we would obviously be able to advance less quickly together. So we decided to leave them to come along at their own pace, which meant we got ahead of them. Anyway, with 60 days of trekking in our legs already, it was only normal that we would be able to travel faster than they could..."

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