On time for the 14 December or not ?

Published on 12.12.2011 - South Pole 1911-2011 NPI

Everything depends upon the weather

Everything depends upon the weather

© NPI (Norwegian Polar Institute)

The four Norwegians travellers tought they could not make it on time for the celebration of the 14 December at the SP. Then an unforeseen event occurred...

Big suspense

Big suspense these last days for the four Norwegians expeditioners sent by the NPI (Norwegian Polar Institute) to the Antarctic.

At first place, considering that the gritty snow prevent them to travel faster and considering the daily distance done sor far and yet to cover, they thought that the deadline of the 14 December was too close. Not enough time to reach SP in time.

But then, they got a gift from the heaven : the Twin Otter chartered by Asle T Johanson to go to the South Pole in time (see our coverage). As the course of the plane took Johansen right over their heads, the four asked the plane to land in order to load a bit of gear they had not need these last few days. No need to say that optimism suddenly increased. They were lighter and of course they were going to go faster.

Here is from now on their strategy : "... But even if our speed increased 20 per cent, we still have a long way to go, 130 km more precisely. And tomorrow is 12 December. Our strategy now is to cut down on sleep and rest and stake everything on skiing 35-40 km each of the next two days. Then we will ski non-stop from the evening of 13 December until the afternoon of 14 December. Theoretically that might get us to the ceremony in time, but nothing is certain. If only we had had one more day..." (excerpts of the 11 December).

Their latest figures :

11 December / Position: S 88 49.828, W 178 06.898 / Temperature: -34°C / Wind: Calm / Elevation: 3120 metres / Distance traversed: 31 km / Distance behind Amundsen: 26 km / Total distance traversed: 1181 km / Distance remaining to the South Pole: 131 km.

10 December / Position: S 88 33.382, E 179 40.289 / Temperature: -36°C / Wind: Calm / Elevation: 3120 metres / Distance traversed: 30 km / Distance behind Amundsen: 29 km / Total distance traversed: 1150 km : Distance remaining to the South Pole: 161 km.

09 December / Position: S 88 17.464, E 178 09.188 / Temperature: -22°C morning, -29°C evening / Wind: Calm : Elevation: 3140 metres / Distance traversed: 27 km
Distance behind Amundsen: 31 km / Total distance traversed: 1120 km / Distance remaining to the South Pole: 191 km.

08 December / Position: S 88 02.892, E 178 46.259 / Temperature: -27°C morning, -26°C evening / Wind: 4–6 m/s from the north / Elevation: 3159 metres / Distance traversed: 45 km / Distance behind Amundsen: 31 km / Total distance traversed: 1093 km / Distance remaining to the South Pole: 218 km.

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