Sam & Dixie abort: mammoth Antarctica march is over

Posted: Feb 06, 2012 03:17 pm EST

(Newsdesk) Dixie Dansercoer and Sam Deltour called off their Antarctic kite-supported tour on Friday. Their final position was 69° 33' 24 S, 93° 36' 20 E (check map for location) after 5013 kilometers and 74 days on the ice,

"There were many components to this decision, but all of them led to the same conclusion: the time has come to end the Antarctic Ice expedition in safety, in harmony, and with total satisfaction," home team member Julie stated. "The approaching winter weather brings increasingly unstable conditions. At this moment their current location -on flat terrain perfect as landing strip - still guarantees a safe pickup."

The expedition has been the longest (distance) kite-supported, unsupplied Antarctic trip yet. Previous record was held by Norwegian Rune Gjeldnes who, in 2006, completed a solo Antarctic Crossing after kiting 4804 km in 90 days without resupplies.


The guys were waiting for airlift yesterday. Meanwhile, their home team provided some stats on the trip:

· 74 days on the ice.

· 68 km/day average.

· Number of days over 100 km distance = 24

· Forced rest days due to weather/nature = 11

· Average altitude = 3147 meters

· Average temperature = -30.4°C

· Average Daily Work Day/Progression = 6.4 hours (7.4 hours if you eliminate the forced rest days)

· Average Speed for Progression Days = 10.77 km/hour

Belgians Dixie Dansercoer and Sam Deltour planned a circular route from Novo Base, traveling via the Geographic South Pole and back. Like certain sailing passages, the route was selected to get the best of Antarctica's Katabatic winds for the kites and allow the longest trip yet on the continent without resupplies or motorized assistance.

Image by Dixie Dansercoer courtesy Dixie Dansercoer - Polar Circles
Map showing Dixie and Sam's itinerary.
courtesy Dixie Dansercoer - Polar Circles, SOURCE