Skiers and Climbers in Storm in West Antarctica

Vinson climbers and Pole skiers grounded. Pontrandolfo’s position.
(Correne Coetzer) Henry Worsley crossed a degree, and got trapped in a storm, huddled on his sled for 4 hours yesterday. The three other ski teams on East Antarctica are grounded as well as climbing teams at Mount Vinson.

Over to the East, Michele Pontrandolfo also has a problem with the wind and Eric Philips prepares for his solo.


In East Antarctica: Judging by his co-ordinates, Michele does not get any kite winds.

Position Dec. 1 2015 4:12 pm

S 71º 5’25.90” E 011º 0’36.00’’ elev 1154 m

Position Wed Dec. 2nd, 20152:01:00 pm

S 71º 9’30.46” E 011º 1’41.52”, elev 1227 m


Also in East Antarctica, Eric and his Chinese group visited the South Pole, Emperor Penguins and the Lazarev Ice Shelf. He started his preparations for his solo kite-ski expedition in Queen Maud Land.


Over to the East, Henry emphasizes that the weather and snow conditions dictates this day and progress. Three days in a row of white-out conditions and soft snow were challenging. He says the soft snow and the heavy sled made it impossible to maintain any rhythm. He was satisfied to manage to keep in a straight line while navigating.

The sun eventually came out and he was treated with a beautiful view, overlooking the mountains , nunataks (mountains peaks above the snowline), snowfields and shimmering blue ice.

With the white-out gone and the sun shining, the wind picked up and temperatures plummeted to -28ºC. Despite the lower temps, Henry said he is warm because it is hard work pulling the heavy sled.

November 30th travel was marked by the peaks and troughs of huge rolling waves; rolling down is easy, the ups a noticeable climb, he reported.

Yesterday, December 1st, Henry sat for 4 hours on his sled in a storm, covered in his down jacket, wondering is he should go on or not. Putting up the tent was impossible in the high wind. His hands took a battering. When he moved, going was 1 mile per hour. The light was so flat and disorientating that he fell over twice when he stopped. The peaks and troughs were still there, although he could not see them in the flat light, but noticed when he went up and down.

Campsite Location S83º 28.008 W52º 58.426

Time Travelled Today 9 Hours

Distance Today 9.7 Nautical Miles

Accumulated Distance 175.5 Nautical Miles

Altitude 4639 Ft

Temperature -30°C

Wind Speed 30-35 Mph


Solo skier Luke Robertson, as well as Devon McDiarmid and his team Stew Edge, Mostafa Salameh and Shahrom Abdullah, and Carl Alvey and his team, Emma Kelty and Khai Nguyen are grounded at Union Glacier in very high winds. They report that a possible fly-out to their start points will be Friday, Dec. 4th.

Mount Vinson teams are tent bounded at Bace Camp.


Doug is still in Punta Arenas, waiting to fly to Antarctica . His family, wife, daughter, son, mom and dad helped him organized and packed in Punta and went home.

Follow the teams’ progress in the Dispatch Stream on


(un)assisted and (un)supported definitions according to


(no resupplies, no kites)

Henry Worsley UK solo

Unassisted Unsupported traverse 1100nm / 2037km

Gould Bay, Berkner Island – Geographic South Pole – Shackleton Glacier (Ross Ice Shelf)

Luke Robertson UK, Scotland solo

Unassisted Unsupported 1130km

Hercules Inlet to Geographic South Pole

Doug Tumminello USA solo

Unassisted Unsupported 1130km

Hercules Inlet – Geographic South Pole

Devon McDiarmid (CA guide), Stew Edge (UK), Mostafa Salameh (Jordan), Shahrom Abdullah (Malaysia)

Unassisted Unsupported 890km

Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf (Messner) – G. South Pole


no resupplies, kites

Michele Pontrandolfo (Italy) traverse solo

Coast at Novolazarevskaya – South Pole of Inaccessibility – Geographic South Pole – Hercules Inlet


resupplies, no kites

Carl Alvey (UK, guide), Emma Tamsin Kelty (UK), Khai Nguyen (CA/US)

Resupplies, no kites 1130km

Hercules Inlet – Geographic South Pole


resupply, kites

Devon McDiarmid (CA guide), Stew Edge (UK)

Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf (Messner) – G. South Pole – Hercules Inlet

Traverse: resupply at SP, kite-ski from Pole, 2020km


Gateway port Cape Town, South Africa:

To ALCI /TAC camp Novolazarevskaya / Novo

70° 46’37”S, 011° 49’26”E

Gateway port Punta Arenas, Chile, South America:

To ALE/ANI main camp, Union Glacier

79° 45’S, 083° 14’W elev 708m

Lat: -79.760591 Lon: -82.856698

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.

Novolazarevskaya to South Pole of Inaccessibility (POI) is 1610 km in a straight line.

South Pole of Inaccessibility (POI)

2011-12 position: S82°06.696, E055°01.951 (Copeland/McNair-Landry)

On Dec. 14, 2014 Frédéric Dion reported the position the POI (at Lenin’s bust) as S82º 06.702′ E55º 2.087′ at an elevation of 3741 m.

Geographic South Pole (GSP): 90 degrees South

According to the Rules of Adventure at, 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 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.

Previous in the link below: Antarctic Traverse skiers relay; Boeing and Three Teams at Union Glacier