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2014-15 South Pole expedition list - Updated

Posted: Oct 30, 2014 09:18 pm EDT


(By Correne Coetzer, updated 07:56 am EDT Oct. 31, 2014 to reflect solo status. Update Nov 4, 9:18 am EST to reflect two additions) 

Not many full distance (coast to Pole) ski teams on the ice this year, with the season to begin soon. Adventurers are already starting to arrive at the gateway ports to Antarctica, Punta Arenas in Chile and Cape Town, South Africa for last preparations before setting foot on the ice. In particular shopping trollies in supermarkets will be packed with many kilograms of high calorie food.


Here goes a preliminary list of expeditions:


Unassisted Unsupported  


Newall Hunter [Ed note: updated 07:56 am EDT Oct. 31, 2014, see Assisted Unsupported category] 


Last year, Richard Parks, became the fastest solo British man (30 days) on the classic Hercules Inlet route; the ten-degree-of-latitude route where skiers since early years are competing for speed records. He then wrote about a plan for a long ski expedition this year. On inquiry, his manager told ExplorersWeb that it is on the back burner. He is busy with promoting his book and a TV series coming out soon.


Unassisted Supported (no resupplies, wind-support)


Faysal Hanneche from France will be attempting a solo kite/parasail ski crossing from Novo Base to Hercules Inlet via the Geographic South Pole.


Earlier this year, Mike Horn announced his expedition Pole2Pole 360°, which was said to start in September 2014. The plan: to embark on a one year expedition, circumnavigating of the world on the longitude, traversing the South Pole, North Pole and Greenland on foot and kayak and joining the continents with his sailboat, Pangaea. His plan was to sail with his boat to Antarctica, do a crossing, sail to the Bering Strait, traverse the frozen Arctic Ocean and Greenland. The latest update on his blog though states Horn will return from France, his location on October 25, to Switzerland where he is currently preparing his next book and training for his upcoming K2 Expedition. 


Frenchman Fabien Docet, previously announced a mega 5000 km crossing of Antarctica from Neumayer Station to Dumont D’Urville via the Geographic South Pole and Vostok in 2014. Asking for confirmation of his plan, ExWeb unfortunately didn’t receive a reply.


[Update Nov 4, 9:18 am EST, Addition] Canadian Frédéric Dion will be solo kite-skiing from Novo Base to the South Pole of Inaccessibility.


Assisted Unsupported


Newall Hunter from the UK plans to ski from the Ronne Ice Shelf on the Messner Route. [Ed note: update 07:56 am EDT Oct. 31, 2014. Previously Newall was classified with a "solo" status, implicating no resupplies. But he told ExplorersWeb that he probably will take a resupply during his expedition.]


According to the Rules of Adventure, to claim a “solo" achievement, requires an unassisted status - therefore no supplies carried by pilots or car drivers, or anything (food, fuel, etc) received from any person along the way. Note that the Polar rules were compiled by early Norwegian and British Polar explorers (not exclusively ExplorersWeb) and are maintained today by the current community of veteran polar skiers.


Skiing also the Messner Route, Robert Smith will be guiding the ANI team and Keith Heger will be guiding the PolarExplorers team.  They will receive two resupplies along the route.


French couple, Stéphanie & Jérémie Gicquel, and Norwegian Are Johansen have teamed up to save money on airfare to the start and end points and for safety reasons, in case of crevasse rescue, etc. They plan to ski the Messner route and at the South Pole turning North to Hercules Inlet to complete a crossing. The team prepares food for 80 days and will be resupplied. Johansen is already in Punta Arenas.


[Update Nov 4, 9:18 am EST, Addition] Adventure Consultants has a Hercules Inlet ski team. Dates are Nov 19 - Jan 25 and the leader is Einar Torfi Finnsson from Iceland, with three team members Hugh Dougall, Bill Morrison and Tim Garrett. 


From Punta Arenas, ANI staff member, Devon McDiarmid, reports it is snowing there today, "but not the reason we are not flying yet. Conditions on the ice are not good for landing.” Devon has skied four times from the coast to the South Pole. This year he is not guiding for ANI, but will be working in the penguin camp, and running the ANI South Pole base camp, he told ExplorersWeb.


Assisted Supported


Members of the tractor team have arrived in Cape Town. Tractor Girl, Manon Ossevoort, will follow soon. Expedition leader, Matty McNair, told ExWeb she will be arriving in Cape Town November 2.


Non-coastal start:


[Update Nov 4, 9:18 am EST ExplorersWeb learned that the Outer Edge Snow Sailer expedition has opted to start on the Polar Plateau south of Novo Base where they will be assured to get winds to get them to the South Pole (not Novo start as previously reported.)]


From Australia, Kristan Fischer sent over news about their Outer Edge snow sailer round trip. A Mechanical and Space Engineer before turning to adventures and expeditions, Kristan is leading the team on Antarctica. They aim to sail without resupplies from the Polar Plateau south of Novo Base to the Geographic South Pole then possibly returning via the Pole of Inaccessibility to Novo; a distance of about 4300 km.


Godspeed all adventurers.


For more details about expeditions, check the ExWeb Interviews in the links below. For additions and corrections contact team@explorersweb.com. Blog updates can be followed in the News Feed on Explorersweb.


Check AdventureStats and Rules of Adventure for definitions of assisted and supported.






Unassisted Supported

(no resupplies, wind-support)


Solo traverse Novo - GSP- Hercules Inlet

Faysal Hanneche (FR)


Solo, kite-ski Novo - POI

Frédéric Dion (CA,)


Assisted Unsupported

(resupplies, no wind.vehicles)


Traverse Messner - GSP - Hercules Inlet

Stéphanie Gicquel(FR)

Jérémie Gicquel (FR) 

Are Johansen NO 


Newall Hunter (UK, Messner to GSP)


Adventure Consultants team

Hercules Inlet route

Einar Torfi Finnsson (IS, guide)

Hugh Dougall 

Bill Morrison

Tim Garrett


ANI Messner Route team 

Robert Smith (guide)

Paula J Reid (UK)

Arabella Slinger (UK)

Julian Thomas (UK)

Vincent Piguot (Switzerland)


PolarExplorers team

Messner route

Keith Heger (US guide) 

Ian Evans (CA) 

Andy Styles (UK) 

Bradley Cross (UK)


Assisted Supported


Tractor expedition (Novo to GSP)

Matty McNair (US, leader)

Manon Ossevoort (NL)

Sarah McNair-Landry (CA)


Non-coastal start:

Outer Edge snow sailer (AU)

return journey

Polar Plateau South of Novo to GSP and possible return via POI to Novo Base

Kristan Ficher (leader)

Charles Werb

Adrian McCallum

Jon Moody



ExplorersWeb Interviews


ExWeb interview with Are Johansen, "snow is the best surface for long journeys”


ExWeb interview with Frédéric Dion, invention and modification for the South Pole of Inaccessibility


Heads up: Frédéric Dion to kite-ski solo to South Pole of Inaccessibility


2014 South Pole expedition list


ExWeb interview with Ian Evans, skier with PolarExplorers on Messner Route


ExWeb interview with Newall Hunter, solo South Pole skier: "pretty hectic last preparations"


French married couple and Norwegian adventurer for South Pole crossing: ExWeb interview with couple


ExWeb interview with Tractor Girl, Manon Ossevoort: tractor passed tests and arrived in Cape Town


ExWeb post South Pole interview with Fagan couple


Lessons from a yachtswoman: Paula Reid to ski to the South Pole


Geoff Wilson’s Top 5 South Pole Tips


ExWeb interview with Faysal Hanneche, "I learned to be patient on Antarctica"


Rules and Regulations in No-Man's Land: ExWeb interview with ALE's Steve Jones


Mount Sidley, Antarctica’s highest volcano accessible to climbers


Polar Technology


Rules and Regulations in No-Man's Land: ExWeb interview with ALE's Steve Jones


Polar Tech Week Roundup: 2014/2015 Recommendations


Your Smart Phone going Global: Review of Iridium Go


ExWeb Special: 2014 Polar Tech Roundtable Conference


HumanEdgeTech Expedition Technology (e.g.CONTACT software)




2014-14 South Pole list - Updated


AdventureStats and Rules of Adventure


Antarctica news bits


Mission to Mars: Stage 2 Report


A journey to the South Pole in a wheelchair


Antarctica video trilogy


Video: Second 2012-13 Ilyushin-76 flight lands at Union Glacier, Antarctica


NASA Worldview


Current Polar Sea Ice Situation (Sept 2014)


Animated map of global weather conditions


New satellite map of Antarctica freely available


Antarctic ski/climb/pole/science Logistic Operators


Adventure Network International (ANI and ALE)


Antarctic Logistics Centre International (ALCI and TAC)



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


Hercules Inlet is located at 80°S near Union Glacier, 1130 km from the Geographic South Pole.

The Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf (Messner) start is 890 km in a straight line from the Pole.

The bottom of the Leverett Glacier, at the Ross Ice Shelf, is located at about 85ºS, a distance of 550 km from the Geographic South Pole.

Axel Heiberg Glacier start is also located at the Ross Ice Shelf and 535 km in a straight line from the South Pole.


According to the Rules of Adventure, to claim a “solo" achievement, requires an unassisted status - therefore no supplies carried by pilots or car drivers, or anything (food, fuel, etc) received from any person along the way. A solo person may be wind supported (kites/sails). Note that the Polar Rules were compiled by early Norwegian and British Polar explorers (not exclusively ExplorersWeb) and are maintained today by the current community of veteran polar skiers.


1 nautical mile (nm) = 1.852 km

1 nm = 1.151 miles

1 knot = 1.852 km/h

1 degree of Latitude is 110 km / 60 nm / 70 miles

Sastrugi are hard snow bumps and can be as high as 10 feet

A nunatak is a top of a mountain visible above the snow surface.


South Pole of Inaccessibility (POI)

2011-12 position: 

S82°06.696, E055°01.951

Geographic South Pole (GSP): 90 degrees South













Snow sailer of the Outer Edge team who plan to attempt a round trip from Novo Base to the South Pole and back.
Antarctica ski and kite routes.
courtesy Map by ExplorersWeb, SOURCE