The tourists have done it!
Published on 06.01.2009 - IceCold in Antarctica
The group of tourists guided by Eric Larsen reached the South Pole without incident on Saturday 3rd January at 7 pm.
Unlike Chus Lago, who quickened her pace after reaching the polar plateau (in particular by extending her working days by a number of hours), the tourists led by Eric Larsen and trained by ANI actually slowed their rate of progress. Here's what they wrote in their blog dated 1st January: "The distance that the group is capable of covering in a day has lessened for a number of reasons: everyone is well aware that they are crossing the fearsome polar plateau, the true 'heart' of Antarctica, as well as the coldest place on the continent. On the plateau, the snow is drier, colder and harder to ski on, both for skis and for the runners of the sledges. The US Amundsen Scott research base is in sight at an approximate distance of 24 kilometres provided you're not in white-out conditions. Which means that the final few days are also the hardest and the longest..."
Notwithstanding these difficulties and despite one or two minor physical problems within the team, the ANI group finally reached the South Pole without any further incident on Saturday evening at around 7 pm. They will have to wait for a few days for ALE's Twin Otter to come and pick them up because the weather is far from ideal.
We also learn that one of the group members, Jeremy Rogers, may decide to return to Patriot Hills using traction kites, accompanied by a Norwegian who has also just arrived at the Pole. We will try and find out more details over the next few days.