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Recent FIS News
Below you will find a listing of recent FIS News
Direction of South Pole: First kilometers on skis
Vegard Ulvang, Jan-Gunnar Winther, Stein P. Aasheim and Harald Dag Jølle have finally set out on the journey to the South Pole and skied the few first kilometers. Due to snowfall on the Union Glacier, the expedition was delayed and they had to stay at Punta Arenas, Chile longer than expected.
"Everything remains uncertain, but now they are talking about Monday as the next possible opportunity. Our patience is starting to wear very thin, even though we were fully aware of the risk that it might turn out like this," the team wrote on their website.
Finally the expedition left Punta Arenas on 28th October and landed at Union Glacier the same day. "The weather here is fantastic: -28°C and almost no wind at all," they wrote. "We are all thoroughly pleased to have snow under our feet and are keeping our fingers crossed for a speedy onward journey to the Bay of Whales."
The expedition got the green light for the final move to Antarctica, to the Bay of Whales, on Sunday 30th October. Travel time: 7-8 hours. The Bay of Whales is the southernmost point of open ocean, not only of the Ross Sea, but worldwide. The Ross Sea does extend much further south, but that area is covered by the Ross Ice Shelf.
"At long last we have arrived at the Bay of Whales. We flew for six hours with one stop to refuel, covering a distance roughly the length of Norway." Vegard Ulvang, Jan-Gunnar Winther, Stein P. Aasheim and Harald Dag Jølle have made it to Antarctica and a 1311 km ski trip lies ahead of them.
The quartet finally set out for the journey, on 1st November in the morning. "We set out at 9 a.m with the sun in our back and the wind on our faces. Finally, we're moving towards our target. Our routine is an hour's walk. Short break. And then the same thing over and over again."
On the first day in Antarctica, the expedition made five sessions of 20 km each. "A short day, but it is important on such a trip. The body will get used to the load. Step by step, literally. So far, no pain anywhere," the expedition says.
Heavy snowfall on Union Glacier and the delay means that the expedition is 13 days behind in its internal competition with Amundsen. "We are now 263 km behind Amundsen, who started 13 days before us. At our current pace we will never catch up with him," the team writes in their diary. The team has been equipped with sailing and decided to test them on the second day. "Vegard optimistically tried sailing this afternoon, but was blown sideways rather than forward. The wind must change quarter. Catching up with Amundsen will now require that we attain a daily average of 30 km - assuming we will not be forced to lie low because of the weather. And we have to climb 3000 meters up to the plateau."
It is possible to follow the quest to the South Pole every day. Visit the website here and click on "Expedition Diary". The updates are there daily in Norwegian and in English! Alternatively visit the team's Facebook page here.
Contributed by Michal Lamplot