Mission accomplished: PH chef Ronny Finsaas kites from the pole to the coast in 5 days!

Mission accomplished: PH chef Ronny Finsaas kites from the pole to the coast in 5 days!

Posted: Jan 29, 2008 03:07 am EST

(ThePoles.com) Soon, there's really nothing left for the Norwegians to do at Antarctica. They ski it back and forth, they climb it, they kite-fly across it, they hop on one leg around it...

Here's the latest from Patriot Hills, where PH chef Ronny Finsaas arrived just in time to fix a quick lunch for the tourists.

271,45nm or 502,73km in less than 24 hours!

Ronny left South Pole just after midnight on 20 January Chile time and covered 165 nautical miles in his first two days, reaching 87°15 S. "The 1100km or 600 nautical miles route is normally done in 15 to 25 days," Ronny, who expected the kite ride to take 7days (plus/minus 3 days), told ExplorersWeb.

The goal was to "do the route as smooth and fast as the weather allows, and have a good and safe run," the Norwegian cold-weather chef added.

So how did it go? Ronny not only beat his own estimate, he possibly broke a world record by kiting 271,45nm or 502,73km in less than 24 hours!

Ronny: The kites and the pulk worked perfect

Here's straight from the horse's mouth:

"Mission completed," Ronny wrote to ExWeb on Friday (January 25th).

"Between the 15th and 19th of January I did a warm up trip from ca. S87, E046 and around the clean air sector to South Pole. This was 400km. At the pole I had a rest day, and fine tuned the equipment for the rest of the journey."

"I started kiting at South Pole 20th of January 0230 Chile time and arrived at Hercules Inlet 24th Jan 2052. Totally solo (alone) and unsupported on this leg, but of course kite-assisted."

"Total 5 days on the route or ca. 60 hours kiting."

"It was a fantastic ride. The weather gods treated me nice. A bit low wind the first two days, but then the catabatic ruled for the rest of the trip. Nice and sunny most of the way. No big technical problems. The kites and the pulk worked perfect."

"The 23d I started at 0928 in the morning and kited to 0911 at the 24th. I covered a distance of 271,45nm or 502,73km in less than 24hours. I believe that must be a new world record. This was kiting roughly from Thiels mountains to Three Sails."

"Best wishes
Ronny Finsaas
Patriot Hills"

Kiting from the pole to the coast at Hercules inlet draws advantage of the prevailing Katabatic winds rushing down from the plateau to the coast at up to 150 mph. Matty McNair and the McNair/Landry kids did it in 19 days, but in a return trip after first skiing to the SP without resupplies.

Although shorter in distance (90km), it was however Marc and Wilco's trip in 2000-01 that was considered the breakthrough on this kind of South Pole return expeditions. They hauled 170kg sleds out of Patriot Hill, made it to the Pole and kited back without any resupplies at all.

Ronny Finsås, 37, is from Finse in Norway. He has done kiting on Hardangervidda in Norway for 10 years and also did two previous kite trips from South Pole to Hercules Inlet in 2003 and 2004.

Logistics: ALE.
Ozone kites: 14Yakuza, 9Haka, 5,5Cult.
Lines: 20, 27, 40 and 60m.
Parawings from Wolf Beringer: 10SC and 6SC.
Skis: G3 Baron with Dynafit TLT speed bindings and Dynafit Zzero 4 PX boots.
Pulk/Sled: Acapulka Dragonfly, Kevlar/carbon.
Tent: Hilleberg, Nammatj 2GT.


'Da man. PH chef Ronny Finsås enjoying a lunch break in the sun. (Click to enlarge).