MARY KAY SKI EXPEDITION, TO THE GEOGRAPHIC SOUTH
DATES: November 17-Dec 30 2016
ROUTE: 44 day ski expedition, unsupported and unassisted, from the 'Ronne Ice Shelf' on the Weddell Sea at 82 degrees latitude, to the Geographic South Pole at 90 degrees latitude.
DISTANCE: 915km/560miles/486 nautical miles
AVERAGE TEMP: -22F/-30C. Lower with wind chill.
SLED WEIGHT: Start of expedition 250lbs/110kg each.
CALORIES CONSUMED per day: 6500
DIET: Freeze dried food and high calorie snacks.
TEAM SIZE: 4 people, led by American polar veteran, Ryan Waters
Our South Pole ski expedition was to the coldest, windiest and driest continent on earth. Our trip began in Punta Arenas, Chile, where we prepared our specially designed expedition sleds, with food, fuel and supplies, for our unsupported 44 day crossing. We flew from the Southern tip of Chile to Union Glacier in Antarctica, before our final flight to our starting point at 82 degrees latitude, on the 'Ronne Ice Shelf' on the Weddell sea. We skied for 44 days hauling our heavy 110kg sleds, with everything we needed for our long journey, navigating the 'Fuchs-Messner' route. We were unsupported and unassisted with no help or resupplies of food or fuel. We skied every day over all types of frozen terrain, enduring lengthy sections of icy sastrugi. We moved in all weather conditions suffering low visibility, no visibility and some rare bluebird skies, but always head-on into the freezing Southerly Katabatic winds. Temperatures never got warmer than -30 degrees celcius, on a perfect windless day. Finally though, after our route taking us along the Foundation Ice Stream, navigating past the Pensicola Mountains and the Thiel Mountain Range, we arrived onto the high Antarctic plateau. We continued onwards and Southwards towards the Geographic South Pole, where after covering 915km/560 miles over 6.5 weeks, we finally arrived at the Amundsen-Scott US scientific research station, at 90 degrees true South. The journey took us almost 44 days after leaving the ocean, in all weather conditions and over all terrain, to reach the most Southerly point on the entire planet.