South Pole skier in Hospital

Henry Worsley in Punta Arenas hospital

(Correne Coetzer) Henry Worsley, who has been evacuated on January 22 after nearly 800 nautical miles, of his solo, unassisted unsupported traverse of Antarctica, is in hospital in Punta Arenas, Chile. His home team reported, he is in hospital with peritonitis. His wife Joanna has flown from the UK to join him. No further announcement will be made until Tuesday, January 26.

In his last voice report, Henry said he had a hard time putting one ski in front of the other.

Peritonitis, according to WebMD, is an inflammation of the peritoneum, the tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers and supports most of your abdominal organs. Peritonitis is usually caused by infection from bacteria or fungi […], which usually develops when an injury or infection in the abdominal cavity allows infectious organisms into the peritoneum.

Left untreated, peritonitis can rapidly spread into the blood (sepsis) and to other organs, resulting in multiple organ failure and death. So if you develop any of the symptoms of peritonitis — the most common of which is severe abdominal pain — it’s essential to seek prompt medical evaluation and treatment that can prevent potentially fatal complications.

HENRY WORSLEY (55) UK, solo, Unassisted Unsupported traverse 1100nm / 2037km, Berkner Island – Geographic South Pole – Shackleton Glacier (Ross Ice Shelf), Started November 13, 2015. South Pole January 2, 2016 (Day 51). Aborted expedition on Day 69, January 20, 2016, at S86º 22.597 W177º 44.337. Accumulated Distance 794 nautical miles. Altitude 9460 ft. He started skiing with 150 kg sled.

Antarctic solo traverse: Henry Worsley talks to Exweb/Pythom from Punta Arenas (2015)

Shackleton’s leadership skills, by Henry Worsley (2015)

Exclusive: South Pole anniversary final week interview with Henry Worsley (2012)

ExWeb interview with Henry Worsley and Mark Langridge: Obviously no one will be Going outside for some time (2011)

Other teams still on the ice:

PACHI IBARRA (Chile, ANI guide), EMMA TAMSIN KELTY (UK), Assisted Unsupported 1130km, Hercules Inlet – Geographic South Pole, Started December 5, 2015.

Short message from Emma on January 23: “12nm, flat with bumps…” They should be well into 88 degrees.

DEVON MCDIARMID (CA, ANI guide), STEW EDGE (UK) Assisted Kite-Supported Traverse, Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf (Messner) – Geographic South Pole – Hercules Inlet 2020km, Start December 9, 2015. South Pole January 13, 2016.

Stew reported on Day 46, they had a slow day with light wind and low visibility in a white-out, but fortunately less sastrugi. They kited as long as it was safe and covered 33nm.

He gave details about their kites: “We have 3 kites with us a 14m and 11m Frenzy and a 10-7m reefable ski-sail. Each weighs about 3kg so pretty light. The 14m is for light winds from about 5knots to 15knots, The 11m from 15knots to 25knots and the ski-sail from 20knots to 35knots. Towing a 60kg sled, we are generally on a size bigger than you would normally have as we have the extra weight to pull.”

Previous update: Antarctica Evacuations

Note: Definitions above according to

assisted = resupplies

supported = kite/car/skidoo support


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 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.

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