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Henry Worsley Two Days out on Berkner Island

Mountain Poles

Good weather and surface, unbelievable silence, and a 150kg sled.
Henry Worsley is the first skier on the ice this 2015-16 seaso. He has a 2037 km traverse ahead of him, with no resupplies or wind-support. Here goes his first two days’ voice reports:

DAY 1, NOVEMBER 13:

Henry left Union Glacier (see map above in the images) at mid-morning. Two and a half hours later the Twin Otter pilot landed at a fuel depot at the Southern end of Berkner Island about a hundred miles from the Antarctic land mass. Henry sorted out his sled, took a bearing South and was underway by mid-afternoon.

The surface was kind, soft at places, but not demoralizing, he said. His sled is a “fair“ 150 kg in weight. Lots of familiar noises return, that of the ski poles, the sled and the skis, “and then when you stop, the unbelievable silence”.

He is aiming for the southern end of Berkner Island and then the Wujek Ridge.

Distance covered:

3.9 nm over 3.5 hours

Weather:

Sunshine, no wind. -7ºC

“…just the best place on earth right now,” he assured.

DAY 2, NOVEMBER 14:

First full day, and Henry is pleased with the distance covered (10.3 nm in 8 hours). The [150 kg] sled is actually proofing difficult to pull, particular in the last 30 minutes when he went uphill.

He travelled for 90 minute sessions, “which worked well, although for many times I stopped and looked up and take a breather.” Music certainly helped, he said.

“Today was a sharp reminder of the first couple of weeks of especially tough going,” Henry stated. On November 15, mid-afternoon, he should cross the 81st degree of Latitude.

Weather:

no wind, sun, broken clouds

comfortable -13ºC

“I was thankful for the weather.” And good surface.

Campsite locationu2028S80º 54.157 W52º 14.853

Accumulated distance: 19.4 nm

Altitude: 375 ft

BACKGROUND:

Commemorating Ernest Shackleton’s 1915 planned crossing, British polar skier, Henry Worsley (55) is attempting the first solo, unassisted and unsupported, ski crossing of Antarctica this 2015-16 season. A distance of 1100 nautical miles / 2037 km, with a 150kg sled and food for 80 days.

He will be skiing from Gould Bay (Berkner Island) via the Geographic South Pole to the Ross Ice Shelf, descending via the Shackleton Glacier. This will also be the first descent of the Shackleton Glacier. Gould Bay is near Shackleton’s intended start point.

Worsley has already done two full routes (from the coast to the Pole) on Antarctica. In 2008-09, Henry led an expedition to commemorate the centenary of Shackleton’s 1907-09 ‘Nimrod’ journey, which pioneered a route through the Transantarctic Mountains via the Beardmore Glacier to a point just 97 miles short of the South Pole. The centenary journey, comprised of descendants of the original party, retraced the original route, arriving at Shackleton’s Furthest South exactly 100 years to the day, before completing the journey to the Pole.

To commemorate the centenary of Captain Scott’s and Roald Amundsen’s expeditions, Henry returned to Antarctica in 2011-12, leading a team of six soldiers in a race along the original 1912 routes to be first to the South Pole. He led the Amundsen route from the Bay of Whales, up the Axel Heiberg Glacier to the South Pole, a 900 mile unsupported journey. In so doing, he became the only person to have completed the two classic routes of Shackleton, Scott and Amundsen to the South Pole.

The Rules of Adventure:

According to the Rules of Adventure at AdventureStats.com, the style label “solo” requires that the explorer is alone and receive no outside assistance. A solo performance thus requires the label “unassisted”.

#polar

#southpole #southpoletraverse #southpolecrossing #Southpole2015 #kiteski #southpoleunassisted

In the link: Pythom Interview with Henry Worsley in Punta Arenas

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