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Recent FIS News
Below you will find a listing of recent FIS News
Vegard Ulvang on his longest journey ever
Exactly 100 years after Roald Amundsen pointed his skis towards the South Pole on 19th October 1911, Vegard Ulvang, Jan-Gunnar Winther, Stein P. Aasheim and Harald Dag Jølle will do the same. The Norwegian Centenary Expedition to the South Pole will retrace Amundsen's route, taking the same amount of time as Amundsen's expedition, and reach the southernmost point on earth on 14th December 2011, arriving 100 years to the day after Amundsen.
FIS Newsflash had a chance to speak with Vegard Ulvang about the expedition during the FIS Autumn Meetings in Zürich last week.
Q: Vegard, you will set out on your longest ski trip ever. What's the plan?
Vegard Ulvang: On 19th October 1911, Roald Amundsen started his attack on the South Pole and reached it on 14th December as the first man to do so. The four of us will retrace Amundsen's route; it is a 1300 km long ski trip. We will start the same date and hope to reach the South Pole 55 days later.
Q: Who is taking part in the expedition?
V.U.: Our project seeks to tell the story of Amundsen through the four of us who have some of the abilities that Amundsen had to reach the South Pole. I'm the skier, as skiing and knowledge of expeditions was one of the key factors of his success. We have one scientist which was one of the excuses of Amundsen's expedition. But most of all he was there seeking an adventure, hence one of us is an adventurer and climber. But maybe the main reason was that Norway was a young nation back then and needed publicity.
Q: What will be the biggest challenges for you in the upcoming weeks?
V.U.: It will be a kind of competition against Amundsen himself. Our goal is to be there and use the same number of days as he did. He had 55 dogs but dogs are not allowed on Antarctica any more, so we will have to ski. The text two months will see daily challenges against weather, form and much more. I'm really looking forward to starting the expedition, we have had a long time to prepare.
Q: How did you prepare for the expedition?
V.U.: First of all it is about physical fitness. I have been training almost every day of my life. Next thing is to be mentally prepared and I have already made trips like this, so I know how it is to be in such conditions. But I have not been skiing for two months in a row, so that is new to me. It is also important to gain some extra weight. And then of course we have tested all our equipment: the tents, skis, sledges and we tested everything really carefully.
Q: You will not be alone on your expedition. The Prime minister of Norway will join you. Is that right?
V.U.: Yes, it is. It shows that it is as big a happening in Norway as it was 100 years ago for the young nation of Norway. The Prime Minister will celebrate both this and 100 years of polar history. He is a good skier. If everything goes well he will meet us on 13th December and we will ski the last day together.
Q: What are your personal expectations of the trip?
V.U.: I'm a skier and this long ski trip has attracted me for a long time. I'm fascinated by cold temperatures, by handling extreme conditions. I was born in the Arctic region during a snowstorm so it's been a kind of a dream for me for a long time.
Q: Can we follow you on your expedition?
V.U.: Yes you can. We have a website at http://sorpolen2011.npolar.no where we will have videos, pictures and blogs. We will report every day from the expedition. You can follow the expedition day by day by checking out our diary, which we will update as we go. You will also be able to see what Amundsen wrote in his own diary exactly 100 years earlier.
Contributed by Michal Lamplot & Sandra Spitz