South Pole via Kansas Glacier

Jan 11

south pole arrival

Published at 03:00
Dispatch created from email
A bluebird day greeted us and we wasted no time in skiing the 8.5km to the South Pole. The Amundsen Scott South Pole Station is an incongruous place set as it is In the middle of the plateau. Our first sign of life, aside from a Hercules aircraft that landed yesterday, was someone on a snowmobile doing a check of the runway in preparation for another landing then a grader driver doing some work next to the runway. Neither gave us a second glance. When I arrived in 1999 almost the entire station complement came out to welcome us in - skiers to the Pole
were a relative rarity back then. Now we are a dime a dozen.

The flags surrounding the ceremonial pole finally came into view and we stopped short so that Ming could choreograph our arrival for the film. Jade stepped into the ring first and placed her hand on the silver ball atop the barbers pole, marking our arrival at the bottom of the planet, a worthy representative of our team. Together with her dad Paul she has skied a combined 1300km to the North Pole, across Greenland and to the South Pole and can justifiably call herself a polar adventurer. This was the toughest of the three, by a long shot, and they will look back on it as being one of the most difficult yet rewarding experiences of their lives. At just 16, among other firsts Jade is now the youngest person to ski unsupported and unassisted to the South Pole and I believe the first woman in history to ski a new route to the South Pole. Paul?s pride was palpable. As a father he is quite unique in his encouragement of the extra-ordinary in his children.

Heath and Ming, the indomitable film duo, worked tirelessly throughout the trip and I can?t wait to see the fruits of their labour. Ming is a consummate professional and I rarely caught him in a moment where he wasn?t filming or thinking about film. And yet he always shared in the laughter and lighthearted spirit that typified our tent. So that Ming could be mobile Heath towed both his behemoth sled and Ming?s for much of the day. He is a tireless worker, a superb aspiring polar guide and a great mate. Although this might be my last long trip it won?t be our last adventure together.

We are now at ALE?s South Pole camp and were exceptionally well received and fed by camp managers Hannah and Michel. We will be here for a couple of nights before flying back to Union Glacier and then Punta Arenas on the 14th.

I?ll send a final post tomorrow.

1. Paul?s ice-encrusted face
2. Jade and Paul approaching the ceremonial pole
3. Our team at the Pole

  • Name: South pole
  • Elevation: 2830 m
  • Latitude: 89° 5959South
  • Longitude: 132° 00West


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