After skiing 9.5 nautical miles today we are very excited to share that Arne, Claus and Tay reached the South Pole at around 4:30 PM. Wohoo!! Way to go Arne and Claus!
It was an overcast day, with light winds and temperatures around -20C. Without blowing snow it is possible to see the station from a distance. In fact Claus and Taylor first spotted the South Pole station yesterday from a long way away - 14 miles! At first it seems like a speck on the horizon but eventually the specs turn into buildings and satellite dishes. When you are relatively close to the Pole the sounds of machinery, trucks or aircraft become detectable. But it is the sound of your skis on the snow and the scraping of your sled as it crosses sastrugi that is a familiar comfort.
The Amundsen Scott South Pole station is a scientific research station and there is a lot going on in the vicinity of the South Pole, including two separate South Pole markers. One of these is the Ceremonial South Pole (see pic below) which celebrates the Antarctic Treaty and is surrounded by the flags of the countries that initially signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1959. Then a couple hundred meters away is the Geographic South Pole (see below) which is measured annually and is at precisely 90 degrees South. The ice under this marker actually moves every year, roughly 30 feet +/- toward the sea. This is why it is repositioned every year - to mark the very bottom of the world.
Ceremonial South Pole
Geographical South Pole
Arne and Claus had an opportunity to celebrate at the South Pole and are now enjoying good food and wonderful company at the South Pole camp for expedition teams. This will involve a delicious dinner, hot water that someone else is melting (!) and a social/dining tent that is large enough to stand in. That may sound like small pleasures to all of us at home but on the polar plateau of Antarctica it is a luxury!
Listen to a dispatch from Arne and Claus below (in Danish).
We are so proud of Arne and Claus for this remarkable achievement. As individuals and as a team we are inspired by both of them. We know that people around the world join us in celebrating with Arne and Claus and we look forward to sharing more about their experience!