The 97 Mile Team Reach the Pole!
A delighted Dave Cornell has reported that the 97 mile team arrived at the Pole at about 1900 hrs GMT yesterday.
Subsequently, the following message was sent by Henry Worsley to Buckingham Palace.
"Be pleased to inform The Princess Royal, our Expedition Patron, that the Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition has successfully reached the South Pole. The Ice Team, consisting of Henry Worsley, Will Gow and Henry Adams arrived yesterday at 0330 hrs GMT, and the 97 Mile Team comprising David Cornell, Tim Fright, Andy Ledger, Richard Gray and Matty McNair arrived at the Pole at 2200 hrs GMT tonight. After 100 years, five descendants of Shackleton's Nimrod expedition have stood at the Pole, and in so doing, completed 'unfinished family business'. God Save The Queen."
SITREP - 97 Mile team
1. Sitrep No 11 as at 2200 hrs GMT 19 Jan 09
2. Distance Covered Today : 9.2 nm
3. Total Distance Covered : 99.6 nm
4. Hours travelled: 6
5. Daily Average to Date: 9.96 nm
6. Distance to Pole: 0 nm
7. Altitude: 9301 ft ASL
Visit the Team Diaries to see more information on the team after their arrival at the Pole, including photos, and their final valedictory broadcasts.
Although we have not covered so much ground today, we have had an infinitely harder time. We started at 7 A.M. on our tracks of December 19, and at 7:30 passed the camp of the evening of the 18th. For two hours we were descending a snow slope, with heavy sastrugi, and then struck a patch of badly crevassed neve, about half a mile across. After that we got on to blue slippery ice, where our finnesko had no hold. A gale was blowing, and often fierce gusts came along, sweeping the sledge sideways, and knocking us off our feet. We all had many falls, and I had two specially heavy ones which shook me up severely.
When we reached the steep slopes where we had roped the sledges up on our outward journey, we lowered the sledge down by means of the alpine rope, using an ice axe as a bollard to lower by. On several occasions one or more of us lost our footing, and were swept by the wind down the ice slope, with great difficulty getting back to our sledge and companions. We arrived at our depot at 12:30 P.M. with sore and aching bodies. The afternoon was rather better, as, after the first hour, we got off the blue ice on to snow. However, bad as the day has been, we have said farewell to that awful plateau, and are well on our way down the glacier.
This is the story of the “Farthest South” expedition, told by its leader. After enduring biting winds, short rations and crevasse-ridden glaciers for over a year, Shackleton’s party faced a desperate forced march to return to their ship, The Nimrod, or face being marooned on the ice.
Taken from Sir Ernest Shackleton’s own compelling chronicle of his first Antarctic expedition, written on his return in 1909.
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