Antarctica 2012-13 season is open

Posted: Oct 22, 2012 09:13 pm EDT

(Newsdesk) Ski and climb teams are making their way to the respective gateways to Antarctica; Punta Arenas in Chile with logistic support by ALE/ANI, and Cape Town, South Africa with logistic support by ALCI.

Also gathering in Punta Arenas is team of British scientists, engineers and support staff are to drill into an ancient lake buried under 3km of Antarctic ice in search for life and unlock secrets in the lake bed sediments.

Subglacial Lake Ellsworth Programme Manager Chris Hill, and part of the team, says in a press release, “Our task is to prepare the way for the ‘deep-field’ research mission that will take place next year. In October 2012 we will return to the site with a team of 10 scientists and engineers to make a three kilometre bore hole through the ice using state-of-the-art hot water drilling technology.. We will then lower a titanium probe to measure and sample the water followed by a corer to extract sediment from the lake.”

Last season the Russians reached Subglacial Lake Vostok nearly 4000 meters under Antarctic ice.

American Aaron Linsdau will touch down in Punta Arenas tomorrow. He will attempt a return journey from Hercules Inlet; in a straight line a distance of 2260 km. ExWeb spoke to him earlier about his plan.

Austrian and former ANI Vinson base camp manager, Christoph Höbenreich and his team, are on their way to Cape Town and on to Queen Maud Land, where they intend to do a 3-week ski and film expedition. He said to ExWeb, ”The primary goal is to make a stunning documentary about this miraculous wonder world of spires, peaks and ice desert, and about us exploring the icy paradise. We are well prepared, but I hope we will not get to know it as the icy hell ... “

In 2010 Christoph, Paul Koller and Karl Pichler bagged 11 first ascents in Queen Maud Land.

The 2012 team is: Christoph Höbenreich, expedition leader, UIAGM mountain and ski guide, IPGA polar guide (Austria), Michael Martin, co-leader, photographer (Germany) Ralf Leistl, cameraman (Germany) Mario Trimeri, Alpinist (Italy).

After the QML expedition Christoph will head to Punta Arenas and across to ANI’s Union Glacier camp to lead a Last Degree ski trip.

ALE/ANI guide Hannah McKeand will be doing her sixth expedition from a coastal start point to the South Pole, this time leading two men.

ALE/ANI’s first flight to Union Glacier, their base camp on Antarctica, is scheduled for October 26th. ALCI’s first flight to Novolazarevskaya is scheduled for November 6th. All flights weather permitting.

From the South Pole, Sven Lidstrom reports the arrival of Canadian Kenn Borek Air Baslers and a Twin Otter crossing from Rothera to McMurdo.

Godspeed the teams.

Several teams have postponed their South Pole ski expeditions to next season; among them Brits Ben Saunders, Alastair Humphreys and Martin Hartley who plan a return journey on Scott’s 1911-12 route, Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft who plan to lead 6 girls from 6 continents on a return journey from the Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf (Messner Route), and Doug Stoup and Parker Liautaud who plan to ski with no resupplies from the Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf.

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

Expeditions with RSS feeds can be followed in the live Dispatch stream at the Pythom App for iPhone and on Android as well as at ExplorersWeb.

ExplorersWeb preliminary South Pole Expedition List


Related Links:

Expedition watch: Northern Patagonia Ice Cap crossing

Expedition watch: Baffin Babes on South Georgia

#Polar #topstory

Sven Lidstrom reports from the South Pole (90°S): “After flying for 10 hours Kilo Bravo Golf (KBG), a Kenn Borek Twin-Otter, lands at South Pole as the second plane for the season.”
Image by Sven Lidstrom courtesy Sven Lidstrom
Subglacial Lake Ellsworth camp.
courtesy Subglacial Lake Ellsworth, SOURCE
Christoph Höbenreich: ”The primary goal is to make a stunning documentary about this miraculous wonder world."
courtesy Christoph Hobenreich
Queen Maud Land.
courtesy Christoph Hobenreich
The QML ski, climb and film team's logo.
courtesy Christoph Hobenreich