(UPDATED) Finland skier’s gear released by customs, and Italian kiter grounded

No favorable winds for Pontrandolfo. Finland’s Risto Hallikainen got his gear only yesterday. Waiting game in Punta Arenas.

Thursday, November 10, 2016 UPDATE

No flight from Punta Arenas to Union Glacier. Return and traverse skiers still grounded.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Michele Pontrandolfo is in his tent since his first day out kiting on November 3. Finnish solo return skier, Risto Hallikainen aims to do a return journey without leaving cashes, depending on the time left to do the expedition before the season closes on January 27.

Interactive Antarctica ski/kite route map

Michele Pontrandolfo: Novo – Pole of Inaccessibility, Geographic South Pole – Hercules Inlet solo, unassisted kite ski 3620 km

The Italian started his expedition on November 3, but then got grounded 8.5 miles out of Novolazarevskaya, with no wind first, and then unfavorable kite winds from the Southeast, 35-45 km/h. Temperatures are not bad, he reported; mostly 14 degrees below zero, but with the wind-chill that reaches minus 32 degrees Celsius. Although it is sunny, the horizon visibility is poor with the blowing snow. He is hopeful to get on the trail again tomorrow.

In Punta Arenas

Finland solo return skier, Risto Hallikainen, also had his gear stuck in Santiago customs with the strike. Only yesterday at 16h00 he received his gear, Risto reported to Explorersweb/Pythom. Fortunately for him the first flight with skiers are still grounded in Punta due to the bad weather and snow covered runway at Union Glacier on Antarctica. He sorted his gear at ALE’s warehouse, to be loaded on the IL-76. Risto’s goal is to pull his sled from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole and back (2260 km), without resupplies (not even at the Pole) and with no wind-support. “I will try to do journey by leaving no caches. I have not been chosen the most lightest gear but I will decide in Union Glacier what to take with and how much time I have.” He will possibly pull 160-165 kg.

Next possible window to fly from Punta to Antarctica is tomorrow.

Follow team blogs in the Dispatch stream on pythom.com

South Pole 2016-17 Interviews on Explorersweb/Pythom:

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

Ryan Waters to guide Fuchs-Messner route (Antarctica 2016-17 interview)

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: First Expedition sets off – 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)

AdventureStats.com 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)





ALE Union Glacier weather cam 79º 46’S, 83º 16”W

South Pole webcam 90ºS

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