Thirteen expeditioners pushing hard : what is the likelihood they’ll reach HI ?

Published on 17.01.2012 - General Info

Aston feels the emptiness of this void continent

Aston feels the emptiness of this void continent

© Felicity Aston

F. Aston, A. Gamme, Cas & Jonesy, Copeland & McNair, R. Weber & Archer, Larramendi & team mates : all have to take the last flight out of Antarctica on 27 January. But all are still on the ice, some quite far away from the coast, rushing towards Hercules Inlet.

Felicity Aston : On 14 January, she had still 3 degrees to go (333 kil). Good weather succeeds to bad weather. Sometimes she has to dig for hours before being able to get the sledges out of the snow when she gets up. Mentaly she seems to be fed up with her voyage and her repeating every day the same movements. But she knows also that at the end of the trip she will hold a world first -first woman to cross the entire continent from shore to shore. She is doing about 20 kil per day (18.5 on 14 January).

Larramendi and team : Slow progress these last days because the lack of wind but nevertheless team manages to cross the degree 83. But they encounter these last hours the worst sastrugis they had never seen. They made good progress on 12 and 13 January but on the 14, they had white out all day again. So they are quite close to the goal and yet they do not know if they are going to get in Hercules Inlet on time. All depends upon the winds and the weather of course. Other teams may progress even if there is no wind. Larramendi can't.

Cas and Jonesy : These two Aussies are completely exhausted and very hungry, because since before the arriving at the SP, they had to ration their food. Now they have reached their last depot and will be able to proceed with their progression ; they still have about 450 kil to go. Maybe more than any other team, Cas and Jonesy feel the pression to get to Hercules Inlet on time.

Copeland and McNair : On 16 January (the day 73 of their voyage), the pair was at S 86°19.533 - W 087°08.814. Still a long ride to go then -714 kil exactly. The prospects to get to HI on time are weak. They have passed the 3.000 kil mark though -a milestone for their trip. It seems that Sebastian's toes are getting better with the time and can feel again the differences of temperatures (pair could rest some days at the SP). So they do not have anything else to do but waiting int the tent for better skiing and kiting conditions.

Weber and Archer : With 278 kil to go on 15 January, the pair is not far away from its goal. Their last position on the same day was 82°30' S - 80°10' W. They have adapted their sleep cycles to the wind conditions -when the wind is good, they kite ski, and when it is poor, they sleep!

Aleksander Gamme : This Norwegian expeditioner doesn't give either his position either the remaining distance to cover. But he seems to be stressed because he does not stop skiing about 11 hours every day, covering between 45 and 50 kil per day.

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