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South Pole: Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere end on Day 106

Posted: Feb 07, 2014 07:22 am EST


(By Correne Coetzer) On Friday February 7th at 01.15am Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere completed their South Pole journey, reported their home team. They set off to the South Pole on October 25th, 2013 from S77° 38' 11.65", E166° 24' 30.24”, Scott’s Terra Nova Hut at Cape Evans. Along the way they dropped depots with food and fuel.


Ben and Tarka arrived at the Geographic South Pole (90ºS) on December 26th, the evening at 20.35 GMT, said their home team. The duo turned around and headed back to Cape Evans. On the Antarctic Plateau they ran out of food and received an emergency resupply from ANI/ALE.


On January 4th, Ben reported that they have changed their finish point to the shore of Ross Island, by the New Zealand Antarctic station, Scott Base.


He explained, "It seems a logical - and historically relevant - spot to finish as it's the same point Scott would have aimed for (and the one that Shackleton and Wild reached in late February 1909 before being picked up by boat, as Scott would have been). It's impossible for us to walk from here to Scott's Terra Nova hut as we're at the end of the summer and McMurdo Sound is now open water, just as it was a century ago (though there's also an American icebreaker that burns 4,500 gallons of fuel per hour keeping the Sound ice-free these days too).”


Ben added that the [ALE] aircraft they have chartered to take them back to Chile, could pick them up only on the 8th.


Day 103: S78° 28' 59.05", E168° 30' 28.80”; 23.7 miles

Day 103: S78° 8' 2.40", E168° 14' 19.32”; 24.4 miles

Day 104: S77° 52' 32.34", E167° 24' 47.88”; 25.1 miles

Day 106: S77° 50' 53.88", E166° 46' 15.96"


According to Ben and Tarka, they logged 1,795 miles [2,872 km].


Previously Tarka L’Herpiniere, and his now wife, Katie, had done an expedition on the Southern Patagonia Ice Cap. Ben Saunders had done a partial Geographic North Pole expedition starting 70 km out from the coast, Cape Arktichevsky, after a helicopter ride to cross open water, and was resupplied. 


2013-14 South Pole teams on the ice


Assisted, Unsupported


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




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.



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).




South Pole ski return: Ben and Tarka pass Scott’s last 1912 camp


ExWeb interview with Antony Jinman, flying a drone at the South Pole


Solo Fin, Vesa Luomala, arrived at the South Pole 


Daniel Burton and his bicycle at the South Pole 


Lewis Clarke (16) became youngest person to ski from the coast to the South Pole


Married couple, Chris and Marty Fagan, arrived at the South Pole


Juan Menendez Granados and his bicycle reached the South Pole 


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 


China’s growing presence in Antarctica


AdventureStats and Rules of Adventure


Adventure Network International (ANI) / ALE

Antarctic Logistics Centre International (ALCI) / TAC


#polar #southpole2013  #southpole2013-14  #antarctica  #BenSaunders #TarkaLHerpiniere







Ben Saunders (36) and Tarka L'Herpiniere (32)
Low visibility during the last days on the Ross Ice Shelf.
courtesy Ben Saunders and Tarka L Herpiniere, SOURCE
Route map (click to enlarge)
courtesy Ben Saunders and Tarka L Herpiniere, SOURCE