Mission accomplished for Hayes and his companions.
Published on 01.01.2008 - ANI South Pole Quest 2007/08
Despite the problems experienced by two of his fellow travellers, suffering from a variety of ills and injuries, Adrian Hayes's team has managed to get everyone to the South Pole safe and sound.
It was on 28th December at 9.30 pm (universal time) that the members of the ANI South Pole Quest Expedition reached the American Amundsen Scott base. The final days had been difficult on account of the two injured people in the party, who had been unable to keep going at the same pace as the others: Evelyn, who was suffering badly from her hips, and Max, who had lost a lot of his strength. The expedition covered 1116 km in 47 days.
But even at their slower pace, the team reached their destination safely. They were somewhat surprised by the welcome that awaited them, too. That is because there is a rumour in polar expedition circles that claims the American researchers working at the South Pole base want nothing to do with the 'explorers-travellers-tourists' who make the South Pole their final objective. At the end of the day, the base may not exactly be a hotel, but the spirit of camaraderie that exists between anyone who makes it to the Pole has a part to play...
So, their welcome was a very warm one, writes Adrian. In any event, it was a great success for this team of adventurers with a range of different strengths. They were also lucky in terms of the timing for returning home. They had scarcely arrived at the Pole when the ALE Twin Otter appeared on the landing strip. And, after six hours' flying aboard the twin-engine into Patriot Hills, a few hours later they boarded an Ilyushin heading for Punta Arenas. By 2nd January, everyone was back home.