Antarctica wrapup: More arrivals - Larramendi, British Military Scott team, Weber & Archer

Antarctica wrapup: More arrivals - Larramendi, British Military Scott team, Weber & Archer

Posted: Jan 19, 2012 02:34 am EST

(Angela Benavides) Several kiting teams reached the South Pole and Hercules Inlet on Scott's South Pole centenary yesterday. Those still out there are pushing hard before the season folds.

Larramendi's wind-powered sled: 3,500 km later

Ramon Larramendi, Ignacio Oficialdegui, Juan Pablo Albar and Javier Selva finished a 3,500km-long Antarctic traverse on board their customized wind-powered catamaran/sled, pulled by a range of kites in sizes up to 80m2.

After being flown from Novo Base to the Polar Plateau, the team assembled the sledge and set off from S 72º 48' 08'', E 5º 07' 96'' on Dec 2. They reached the South Pole on January 1st, and finished at Hercules Inlet exactly 100 years after Scott reached the Pole. The team posted a tribute to the British explorer on YouTube:

Larramendi hopes his sledge, designed and improved on over a decade and several expeditions, has proved a useful, green and cheap transportation alternative at Antarctica.

British military in Scott's footprints: 100 years later, sharp

Lugging all the way from Scott's original starting point at Cape Evans; Vic Vicary, Mark Langridge and Kev Johnson - a k a the Scott Group in the British military Scott-Amundsen race - reached the Pole yesterday, precisely 100 years after their predecesor.

Coming in from the Norwegian original kickoff at Bay of Whales, the "Amundsen team" members had finished their quest a few days before.

Mused the project organizers: "Mother Nature smiled upon our three heroes, who join our other two brave chaps, Henry and Lou, at 90 degrees south on this most poignant of days – the Scott Centenary."

Richard Weber: Done!

Canadian Polar legend Richard Weber and his client Michael Archer (NZ) finished their 2000-km long Messner start-SP-HI crossing yesterday. "They sounded absolutely exhausted on the phone – their last day, they kited 150 km, and 200 km the day before," the Weber Artic home team reported.

The two skiers had reached the Pole as part of a larger group. After getting a resupply, Richard and Michael kited back to HI.

Pole to pole

Picking the most convenient side of reality, in a recent video Pat Farmer said he is altitude sick and that his quest is harder than that of others:

“Everyone is thinking in terms of the way things are normally done, but nothing in my life has ever been normal and I’m not normal, I don’t do normal things and this is not a normal environment," he stated. "So consequently I am used to push myself to absolute limits. This is why most skiers and most people doing these trek only do 30 k’s tops per day. We do 70 km per day. ”

The skiers Pat refers to drag sleds twice their size, set their own camps, melt their snow, cook their food and deal with a host of tasks that, in Pat's case, are "delegated" to a support team and a turbo-diesel truck following the politician's every step.

Johan E. Nilson was 140km away fromt he Pole yesterday and hoped to reach the mark later that day if winds picked up.

Felicity Aston: almost there

Felicity hopes to reach the coast within 9 days. "At that point, she will officially become the first woman to traverse Antarctica alone," her home team said. Felicity got a resupply at the pole which disqualifies her quest as Solo.

Novo traverses: some movement

In the final stage of their Novo - POI - SP - HI kite-traverse, Eric McNair-Landry and Sebastian Copeland covered 71km yesterday. "We are now 714 kilometers from Hercules Inlet and have eight days to close it," Sebastian calculated.

Belgians Dixie Dansercoer and Sam Deltour were also finally "freed from the hole" they had been stuck in for lack of wind. 123 km on tricky terrain was covered yesterday. In 58 days, the guys have covered 3565.4 km.

Antarctica/SP - General facts:

Gateway port Cape Town, South Africa:
To ALCI/TAC base camp Novolazarevskaya / Novo
(70o 46'37S", 011o 49'26"E)
Gateway port Punta Arenas, Chile, South America:
To ALE/ANI base camp, Union Glacier
(79o 45'S, 083o 14'W).
Gateway port Punta Christchurch, New Zealand:
To US base McMurdo
(77o 50'39"S, 166o 40'22"E)

1 nautical mile (nm) = 1.852 km
1 nm = 1.151 statute mile
1 knot = 1.852 km/h
1 degree of Latitude is 110 km

Sastrugi are hard snow bumps and can be as high as 10 feet.
A nunatak is a peak of a mountain rising above the ice cap; sometimes covered with snow, sometimes exposed rock.

Useful links:

CONTACT 5 expedition technology
Polar rules of Adventure
What is solo?
Hercules Inlet start point
2011-12 Guidelines for NGO Visitors to the South Pole Station
South Pole Station news (Bill Spindler)
Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE)
Adventure Network International (ANI)
The Antarctic Company (TAC/ALCI)


Wx7 observations at Union Glacier

Amundsen's & Scott's diaries
Amundsen's book, "The South Pole"
Amundsen's diary courtesy Fram Museum
Amundsen pix, courtesy Fram Museum
Scott's diary

Space research expedition dispatches

ANSMET Meteorite hunters

List of Links to Antarctica 2011-12 teams
Classifications: Unassisted (no airdrops), unsupported (no kites/dogs/motor).

Hercules Inlet - SP - Hercules Inlet

Unassisted, unsupported:
Aleksander Gamme, Norway (solo)
Australian James Castrission and Justin Jones (Cas & Jonesy - return)

Assisted (airdrops):
Polar Explorers
Byrony Balen (With PolarExplorers)

Bay of Whales and Cape Evans - SP

Unassisted, unsupported:
British Army Scott-Amundsen Race 2011-12 - Amudsen team led by Henry Worsley from Bay of Whales

British Army Scott-Amundsen Race 2011-12 - Scott team led by Mark Langridge, from Cape Evans

Ross Ice Shelf - SP - Hercules Inlet

Unassisted, unsupported:
The South Pole Jubilee Expedition - latitude Expeditions

Assisted (airdrops)

Felicity Aston, UK (solo)

Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf - SP - traverse to H.I.

Unassisted, unsupported:
Richard Weber & team (kite traverse)

Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf - SP

Assisted (airdrops), supported (kites)
Pole to Pole Run Pat Farmer

Novolazarevskaya - SP - traverses

Supported (kites):
Dixie Dansercoer and Sam Deltour
Eric McNair-Landry and Sebastian Copeland
Larramendi's Acciona Antartida

Novolazarevskaya - SP (kites)
Johan Ernst Nilson

#Polar #topstory

Ramon Larramendi dealing with the Acciona Antartida polar sled in whiteout conditions last week.
Image by Javier Selva courtesy Acciona Antartida expedition, SOURCE
Acciona Antartida team members (leader Ramon larramendi second fro the left) at the South Pole, Jan 1, 2012.
courtesy Acciona Antartida expedition, SOURCE
Richard Weber.
courtesy Weber Arctic, SOURCE
2011-12 Antarctica ski routes.
Scott-Amundsen Race expedition: Scott team members (L/R) Mark Langridge, Vic Vicary and Kev Johnson.
courtesy Scott-Amundsen Race expedition, SOURCE