Spaniards reach the 'second' South Pole of Inaccessibility - still no trace of Lenin

Posted: Dec 15, 2005 02:50 pm EST

( The Spanish Team consisting of Ramon Larramendi, Juanma Viu and Ignacio Oficialdegui reached the 'second' South Pole of Inaccessibility yesterday at 3.21 pm, UGT time.

Just 3 days earlier, on December 11th, the team reached the 'first ' Pole of Inaccessibility at 82º 53 14S, 55º 4, 30 E. This 'first' Pole is considered the furthermost point from Antartica's coast line and accounts for only the continental firm-land surface.

Yesterday, the team reached the 'second' Pole of Inaccesibility, at 83º50'37''S, 65º43'30'' E, located 200km away towards the SE. Unlike the 'first' Pole, the 'second' accounts for both the continental land surface as well as the ice-shelves of Antarctica.

This 'second Pole of Inaccessibility, has been officially pinpointed by the British Antarctic Survey using a high tech system. According to the Spaniards it is the most accurate measure available.

Yet according to Scott Polar Research Institute the position of the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility is 85º50'S, 65º47'E and it's also the point first reached by a motorized Soviet expedition in 1957according to Wikipedia. The Russians left a statue of Lenin to mark their reaching that point.

Step down and walk

The "British" Second Pole of Inaccessibility was reached in unstable weather and changing wind conditions. Wind direction made it impossible for the team to reach the exact point on the kite-sled they are using. Therefore, the three members had to leave their sled behind and do the last 1500 meters on foot.

The Spaniards have now resumed their trans-Antarctic expedition and are making their way towards Vostok Russian base, which they hope to reach in 10 to 15 days.

Listen to Ramón's voice dispatch

According to Scott Polar Research Institute "The position of the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility (85 deg 50 min S 65 deg 47 min E) is based on a calculations from the edges of the ice-shelves or a rocky coast," they reported. "These are positions which may be reached by an icebreaker or similar vessel. It is thus reasonably constant and does not take account of seasonally variable pack ice (which is essentially a feature of the ocean rather than derived from the continental land mass)."

I.E. As suggested by 'inaccessibility', this is the point furthest from navigable sea, rather than the 'theoretical' edge of the continent.

However, there is no general agreement of the true location of the mentioned Pole. The Spaniards have reached a point located at 83º50'37''S, 65º43'30'' E, the coordinates being provided by the British Antarctic Survey service.

Another South Pole of Inaccessibility would be the furthermost point from Antarctic coastline, taking into account its continental surface, wihout ice-shelves. The Spanish team reached that point on December 11th. According to the BAS measures, it is located at 82º 53 14S, 55º 4, 30 E.

Ramón Larramendi is leading a three-man team on a 4500km traverse across Eastern Antarctica, riding a large kite-powered sled. After years of testing and improving the sled, Ramon is ready and convinced, It is fast, endurable, powerful, maneuverable, and clean, he told Explorersweb.

Tested in four Greenland traverses, the sled's - and Ramon's - ultimate goal is to complete the longest Antarctic un-motorized traverse ever, without re-supplies. The other team members are Ignacio Oficialdegui and Juanma Viu.


The Spaniards have reached the British Antarctic Survey 'second' South Pole of Inaccessibility, two degrees away from Scott Polar Research Institute's version and possibly - Lenin. Compiled image of Ramon Larramendi and the team on December 11th at the 'first' Pole of Inaccessibility (both sent live over Contact 3.0) courtesy of the team/Tierras Polares (click to enlarge).