British explorer to ski to South Pole and back again

British adventurer Chris Foot is currently in Punta Arenas, Chile, preparing to set out on a long and difficult journey that will see him traveling on skis to the South Pole. That, in and of itself, is an impressive feat, but one that has done plenty of times in the past. But upon arrival at the Pole Chris intends to separate himself from the explorers who have gone before him, by turning around and skiing back to where he started, something that has never been done before.

The entire journey will cover more than 1392 miles through one of the most desolate and remote regions on the planet. To add to the challenge, Foot intends to make the trip solo and unsupported, which means he will be completely alone and won’t receive any supply drops or outside assistance for the length of the expedition. Instead, he’ll pull a sled behind him that will carry all of his food, equipment, and other supplies for the length of the journey, which could last for upwards of three months.

The expedition will begin and end at the new Union Glacier Antarctic base that we told you about last week, and could get underway as soon as today. Weather has delayed the start of Chris’ journey, as high winds and heavy snow have prevented planes from landing at the new base, but according to the latest dispatches from the former British commando, his gear has all been packed and weighed, and he is awaiting a clear weather window to allow him to get start the long, slow march to 90ºS.

Chris will be one of the first adventurers to hit the ice this year, but his arrival will mark the beginning of the Antarctic expedition season that will see other expeditions heading to the South Pole as well. Additionally, mountaineers will challenge themselves on several cold and remote peaks in the region and adventure travelers will get the opportunity to visit a place that few ever experience.

[Photo credit: Chris Foot]