Saturday, November 14, 2015

Antarctica Again

I cannot believe that Antarctica is so close again. As in a week. Yes, I am going back to the cold and white continent one more time. And yes, doing that thing my family and friends said was "crazy", skiing to the South Pole. While this sounds familiar with my previous trip (because it is!), this time it is different. I'll be skiing from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole. The distance I have to ski is about 700+ miles, almost the length of California. I'll try to complete this within two months. It is awfully and awesomely a lot of time in the wild Antarctica.

You (and family and friends) probably ask why this trip? Well, it's on a different scale of an expedition. Right after completion of my last trip in new year 2010, I knew I would go back to do the full length. Six years went by, with quite a bit of mountaineering in between, I still dream about Antarctica. And here I am in Chile, days closer to it. The past two weeks have been insanely busy for me. I had to do more training (I started training at the beginning of the summer), source gears and clothing, try out food (and their combinations), handle things at home while I'm gone, pack for the trip, and force myself to eat loads of food as I need to gain weight and get used to the amount of food we are going to consume daily. On top of it, I need to write the application to handle the communication while I am on the ice, not only for myself but for the team I am going with as well.

The team has three people including me, so it's small, which is better. Carl Alvey, from the UK but lives in Norway, is our guide. He has lots of Antarctic experience and been doing this for years. He guided a 16 year old Brit Lewis Clarke two years ago on the same trip as we are going to do, to become the youngest person to ski to the South Pole. Emma is new to the scene but she has done a lot of inspiring trips, including over 2600 miles of hiking alone the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexican border to Washington.

We have been on Skype, chat, email regularly since August. I can tell everyone is super excited, especially Emma. She's afraid she'll explode from excitement! And everyone is very helpful. Carl helped me source major gears and Emma helps me bring those to Punta Arenas. This is already a great team work. I think we have an amazing and determine team to handle the challenges from one of the most difficult expeditions out there.

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