The Coldest Journey


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  • #1382
    Iceman
    Member

    I’m not sure how many have heard of this latest expedition in Antarctica yet. It’s called The Coldest Journey and 6 people are going to attempt to cross the continent during the winter. They have two Cat tractors pulling sleds where they will live and do some science from. Two people will be sking in front of the convoy with head lamps looking for obstacles. They are leaving on March 21st from Crown Bay and hopefully will arrive in McMurdo on September 21st, stopping at the Pole of course, then have all their gear shipped off continent a year from now with the cargo ship. I guess they are going to use the South Pole Traverse route from Pole down to Mactown. I wish them the best!

    http://www.thecoldestjourney.org/

    #11616
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    Sounds stupid to me. The traverse uses ground penetrating radar to look for bridged over crevasses. They are using skiers?

    #11617
    skua77
    Keymaster

    Actually it looks like they do have GPR on the lead Cat. Although they depict the skiers traveling in front of it!

    This certainly will be an interesting trip…originally it started out to be a much smaller 2-man unsupported venture, but because of the environmental and safety concerns, they had to add more people, the tractors, etc…basically since they can’t be rescued during the winter they had to have the capability to survive in place. Here’s one contrasting view: http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk/Sir-Ranulph-Fiennes-Antarctic-trek-vastly/story-17782008-detail/story.html#axzz2KtiK6Bqu

    #11618
    Sciencetech
    Keymaster

    At least they’ve done their homework, taking into account the climate, route, and even the ASMA plan at the Pole.

    However, from the Somerset article, “…the two-man expedition has now grown into a six-man team followed by two Caterpillar tractors pulling sledges…” If so, why even ski at all?

    Knowing how quickly people and mechanical things fail at those temperatures, my bet is that they’ll make it to the Plateau and then break down. There will be heroic efforts to carry on with the mission, but sooner or later they’ll be stuck in one spot until rescued the next spring.

    I hope I’m wrong, and I wish them the best of luck. They’ll need it.

    #11619
    Kelly74Q
    Member

    I wouldn’t count Sir Ranulph out just yet. I remember ‘they’ had similar comment about his TransGlobe Expedition in ’81. Sir Ranulph and his crew ran their Ski Doo Alpines right across the ice cap with minimal effort. Though if I recall correctly, that time they were ably supported by Giles Kershaw and a Twin Otter. He is much more an Amundsen than a Scott.

    #11620
    Sciencetech
    Keymaster
    #11621
    TheORKINMan
    Participant

    Sounds like some of the exposure stories ive heard from Mt Everest. I wonder if he realized what he was doing to himself when he took the glove offf

    #11622
    MATKATAMIBA
    Member

    Actually I don’t think they have done their homework. Anyone who has spent a winter at Pole will tell you without even thinking that this is insane. Those cats just cannot operate at -90F. Even the metal tracks break at those temperatures. “Winterized” my ass. In my opinion these guys don’t have the slightest idea what -100F is like and don’t have the slightest chance of success. I just hope no one dies trying to rescue them.

    Fiennes dropped out, but I hear the others are pressing on. Suicide. I too have to wonder if Fiennes knew exactly what he was doing when he got himself off the expedition.

    #11623
    Sciencetech
    Keymaster

    End of the road for the expedition. But they still have to get back…

    http://www.livescience.com/37609-expedition-abandons-antarctic-winter-crossing.html

    #11624
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    I thought it was hairbrained right from the start

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