Antarctica: First Expedition sets off – UPDATE 2

And Emma’s gear in Punta Arenas, at last. Fortunate for her, the Ilyushin is grounded

UPDATE November 7, 2016: The weather at Union Glacier has improved, but the blue-ice runway is still covered with snow. ALE is busy clearing the snow. The next scheduled phone call from ALE to the skiers in Punta Arenas to inform them about their departure to Antarctica, is 20h00 local Chilean time today.

Michele Pontrandolfo is at Lat: -70.872566 Lon: 011.471165, grounded by the weather.

UPDATE November 5, 2016: The weather at Union Glacier is still not good for landing, therefore the teams in Punta Arenas have not flown today. Next possible weather window is Monday, November 7. In the mean time, the ALE team at UG works around the clock to clear the blue-ice runway from snow.

Previous, November 4, 2016:

Italian solo kite skier, Michele Pontrandolfo, left Novolazarevskaya yesterday, reported Anna Bongiorno from his sponsor Moncler to Explorersweb/Pythom. Michele’s first goal is to reach the South Pole of Inaccessibility with Lenin’s bust as the marker. The following waypoints are the position of this Pole as reported by the last two expedition who reached it on the same route as Michele is attempting (traverse to Hercules Inlet via the Geographic Pole, 3620 km in straight line between waypoints).

2011-12 position: S82°06.696, E055°01.951 (Copeland/McNair-Landry)

On Dec. 14, 2014 Frédéric Dion reported the position as S82º 06.702′ E55º 2.087′ at an elevation of 3741 m.

Michele’s latest position as per his Tracker where he stopped for the day:

Nov 3, 2016 5:10:15 PM

S 70 52’21.17” E 11 28’16.40”, or -70.872556, 011.471206

Elevation: 717.30 m

Explorers House map with interactive South Pole ski routes

Chilean side

The weather rules. RERUN of previous Exweb interview with ALE meteorologist Mark de Keyser

The traverse and return skiers are waiting for the next possible weather window to fly from Punta Arenas to Antarctica, possibly tomorrow. ALE reports high winds and fresh snow at Union Glacier, which makes it impossible for the Ilyushin-76 to land.

Emma Kelty said there was no way that she was prepared to sit back and wait to see what happened to her gear stuck in Santiago customs. Therefore she flew to Santiago to see the gear herself. She was on the 2am flight, arrived after 5am “and after a few bumping around to find the right office and person” she was guided “to the boss of all bosses. Like a rollercoaster ride the positives and negatives were plenty but finally I got the thumbs up as they, due to the urgent nature (this is a life dream and huge investment) just wanted me and my kit to be on a plane.”

Emma is back in Punta with her gear and repacking to be ready for a possible flight tomorrow. “All I can say, this is wayyyyyy too much drama for me and I hope things now settle and become straight forward. Of course the next hurdle/ game is the Antarctica weather Windows … Already (luckily for me) the plane has already been delayed 2 days.”

Also in Punta Arenas waiting for good weather at Union Glacier is Johanna Davidsson from Sweden, who will ski from Hercules Inlet and kite back, on the same route is Risto Hallikainen from Finland, who plans to do it with no resupply at the Pole, like the two ladies, and Lou Rudd who is guiding fellow Army Brits, Oliver Stoten, Chris Brooke, Alex Brazier, Alun George and James Facer-Childs on a traverse.

Follow team blogs in the Dispatch stream on

Interviews on Explorersweb/Pythom:

Canadian Sébastien Lapierre to attempt solo ski to South Pole (Interview)

1989: Arved Fuchs traversed Antarctica, with Messner (Interview)

Emma Kelty: speed ski and return attempt (Exweb South Pole interview)

Exweb South Pole Interview with Johanna Davidsson: kite return attempt


Antarctica 2016: No gear for Emma, no good weather for Michele – UPDATE 2

Interactive Map: Antarctica Skiing Routes

ALE and ALCI open Antarctica season

Michele Pontrandolfo to attempt solo Antarctic Traverse again

2016-17 Antarctica Ski Expedition List – updated

Antarctic Researcher died in the field (October 2016)

Antarctica Current: Polar How-To-Guide Heads-Up

Explorers House map with interactive South Pole ski routes

HumanEdgeTech Expedition Technology (e.g.CONTACT software) for Polar Statistics and Rules. Note that a solo claim has to be unassisted, and claiming to have ‘skied to the Pole’, a full route (from a coastal start point) has to be completed, without flying part of the route.

Logistic operators:

ALE (Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions)

ALCI (Antarctic Logistics Center International)

Weather Maps:

ALE Union Glacier weather cam

#polar #antarctica #Southpole #thepoles