Recommend read: Adventures on Antarctica
The season of science, adventure and publicity stunts is about to start once again at the Antarctica. Quality armchair adventuring is great for the quiet shoulder season and I enjoy it just as much as everyone else. Here are some chosen adventures happening on the great white continent of superlatives right now or about the start very soon.
Not from the Antarctica but from Vatnajökull in May 2013.
After 10 years of planning and hard work Ben Saunders is now on the ice trying to complete Scott’s original route to the South Pole and back unsupported and unassisted. This means 2900 km of skiing. That’s longer than the previous unsupported and unassisted ski expedition to the Pole and back, actually the longest unsupported and unassisted ski expedition ever! Ben and Tarka have been on the ice already for over three weeks and the daily distances are growing and conditions seem to be getting better. Monumental expedition in making and they are using state of the art satellite communication sending daily reports and photos for us to enjoy!
To Deep South
This one isn’t a world-class ground breaking expedition but a cool one none the less: unsupported and unassisted solo ski expedition to the South Pole by Finnish Vesa Luomala. At the moment Vesa is in Punta Arenas (Chile) preparing his kit but soon he will be at Antarctica skiing 1100km from Hercules Inlet to the Pole. When Vesa reaches the Pole he will be the first Finnish to do so solo and also complete the longest solo expedition by a Finn. Vesa’s blog is both in Finnish and English.
Finland’s only professional explorer and adventurer Patrick “Pata” Degerman is again heading back to Antarctica. The three men team will be heading to Queen Maud’s land for a 22-day climbing expedition to climb previously unclimbed peak. Pata and Pekka Holma did a scouting expedition to the area in 2012 and chose 2525m high “Sukkertoppen” as their target. Unfortunately the blog is only in Finnish but you can always try to translate and at least enjoy the photos!
Cycling to the South Pole?
As fatbikes have evolved the idea of pedaling to the South Pole has gained popularity during the recent years. Eric Larsen gave it a try the last season but turned back as the going was too slow (my hat is off for trying and finishing in good style). Now American Daniel Burton is giving it a go on his South Pole Epic trying to cycle from Hercules Inlet to the Pole with resupplies on the way. Another contender for the “first” is Spanish Juan Menendez Grandos who hopes to complete the journey without resupplies. This autumn Huan crossed Greenland with guided Norwegian group cycling some parts and mostly pulling his bike in a pulka. This raises the question how much you have to cycle to say you’ve cycled to the South Pole? All the way? 90%? 50%? 10%? I don’t know but it’s interesting to see what the fatbikes can get you.
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And as a little bonus video from Pekka Holma’s take on Denali in 2010: The Sarah Palin tribute expedition! Good (?) sense of humour required: