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Juan Menendez Granados and his bicycle reached the South Pole

Posted: Jan 18, 2014 11:26 am EST


(By Correne Coetzer) Spaniard, Juan Menendez Granados, and his fatbike reached the South Pole on January 17th, solo, unassisted and unsupported, after traveling 1130 km in 46 days from Hercules Inlet (80ºS); a route not groomed for biking. The last week, when he ran out of food, and weather and snow conditions turned worse, Juan showed how much he wanted to be the first to reach the Geographic South Pole with a bicycle, without assistance or support.


He was determined to pull all his food, fuel and gear on a sled from the start to the end and travel without any cars driving with for support or navigation. The last week tested the affirmations he repeated to himself during the two years of preparation; fearless, resilience, fight, adversity, constancy, perseverance, concentration, determination. Juan survived only on a mix of leftover nuts, cocoa powder and sunflower oil. On top of that, he travelled 15 hours per day, cycling most of the time, and slept only 4 to 5 hours. 


The second last day was a long day, said his Norwegian home team to ExWeb, and he camped 20 km from the South Pole (90ºS), “he is actually pretty sad it is going to be over, but he will love some food.”


Today his Spanish home team reported to ExWeb, a tired and excited Juan has reached the Pole last night, January 17th, Chilean time, the time zone the Hercules Inlet adventurers use.


The two years preceding the time Antarctica was a rough ride in itself. The young Spaniard fought a battle to get on the ice. He was doing two jobs every day to get money and eventually, at the last minute, decided to borrow money to make up the balance. In between the jobs he had to make time to practice and stay fit as well. 


At sixteen Juan did his first cycle trip and, at the time, what was at first a hobby, became his way of life. To date, apart from the South Pole cycle, he has cycled more than 25,800 km and his dream was, "the greatest challenge of it all", he said, to cycle solo to the South Pole; that is without any help.  


ExWeb interview with Juan Menendez Granados: the greatest challenge



Follow daily South Pole blog updates with RSS feeds in the News Stream on ExplorersWeb and the Pythom app or click the links below. 


2013 South Pole teams


Unassisted, unsupported:


Vesa Luomala, FI, Hercules Inlet, solo

Antony Jinman, UK, Hercules Inlet, solo, completed

Marty and Chris Fagan, USA, Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf start

Juan Menendez Granados, ES, Hercules Inlet, solo cycle


Assisted, Unsupported


Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere, UK, UK/FR, Cape Evans return journey

Daniel Burton, USA, Hercules Inlet, cycle

Carl Alvey (ANI guide) and Lewis Clarke, UK, Hercules Inlet

Devon McDiarmid (CA, ANI guide), Joshua Hodgkinson (AU), and Wen Yuan (China), Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf [Update Jan. 02:50 EDT correction: Arabella Slinger, is not part of Devon’s team as previously stated. ANI reported to ExWeb that she suffered an injury prior and is not in the team guided by Devon.] completed




ANSMET meteorite hunters 2013-14


Dronning Maud Land Project Facebook and Blog page


Aleksander Gamme, Espen Fadnes, Kjersti Eide, Jonas Langseth, Andy Kirkpatrick and Ingeborg Jakobsen.


Australian Mawson Centenary Expedition Spirit of Mawson website

AAE 2013-2014 Interpret Science website [Rescued]


Arctic Trucks


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 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.

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


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 2011-12 position: 

S82°06.696, E055°01.951

Geographic South Pole: 90 degrees South


A "solo" ski requires an unassisted status (therefore no supplies carried by pilots or car drivers, or anything received from any person).




Antony Jinman and his drones at the South Pole


South Pole arrivals and False Record Claims


Cars on Antarctica 


Gamme and team to climb, jump and ski in Dronning Maud Land


The Coldest Place on Earth 


Antony Jinman with two drones to the South Pole, ExWeb interview


Carl Alvey to guide 16-year-old Lewis Clarke to the South Pole: ExWeb interview


China’s growing presence in Antarctica


ExWeb interview with Lewis Clarke (16): to ski 1130 km Hercules Inlet route 


ExWeb interview with Vesa Luomala, "there is no room for underestimating a place like Antarctica"


ExWeb South Pole 2013 interview with Geoff Wilson, "my mind I feel will be the greatest maze of all"


Marty and Chris Fagan, married outdoor team for the past 15 years. ExWeb South Pole interview 


ExWeb interview with Juan Menendez Granados: the greatest challenge


ExWeb South Pole 2013 interview with Geoff Wilson, "my mind I feel will be the greatest maze of all"


ExWeb South Pole kick-off interview: Daniel Burton, return cycle journey


ExWeb interview with Eric Philips, three decades of polar experience


Breaking news: Christian Eide bags the South Pole solo speed ski world record


AdventureStats and Rules of Adventure


Adventure Network International (ANI) / ALE

Antarctic Logistics Centre International (ALCI) / TAC


#polar #southpole2013  #southpole2013-14  #antarctica #JuanMenendezGranados






Juan survived only on a mix of leftover nuts, cocoa powder and sunflower oil at the end of his 1130 km, 46-day expedition with his fat bike to the South Pole.
courtesy Juan Menendez Granados, SOURCE
Juan survived only on a mix of leftover nuts, cocoa powder and sunflower oil at the end of his 1130 km, 46-day expedition with his fat bike to the South Pole.
courtesy Juan Menendez Granados, SOURCE
Juan before the expedition: "Resilience. It will allow me to put up with many degrees below zero riding in the worst conditions.It also allows me to continue preparing myself between [two] jobs here in Norway."
courtesy Juan Menendez Granados, SOURCE
South Pole routes.
courtesy ExplorersWeb, SOURCE