Expedition Watch: A Solo and Unsupported Ski to the South Pole and Back


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A rough map of Linsdau's route Photo:

In a Monday blog post, American skier Aaron Linsdau reported from South America on the gear he was packing into Antarctica. One picture stands out. It shows two of his five duffel bags filled with his idea of expedition treasure, blocks of butter wrapped in shiny gold packaging. He carefully guards the stock because “…it’s important to ensure that part if my ration is well taken care of.
If the butter were in with the general population, it would be mashed to
being unusable and rotten.”

The high-calorie treat will make up a third of Linsdau's 6,000-calorie-a-day diet as he skis to the South Pole and back. That translates to three sticks a day. Today, Linsdau blogged that he has reached his Base Camp and plans to set out soon. Here's a bit more on his quest, in case you'd like to follow along.

WHO: Aaron Linsdau, a 30-something software engineer from Temecula, California, who has trekked across parts of Greenland and Yellowstone National Park.

WHAT: A solo and unsupported 1,450-mile expedition from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back. Linsdau will leave from the Hercules Inlet and ski toward his destination while hauling a sled packed with gear that weighs more than 300 pounds. According to his website, no American has made the solo and unsupported trip to the South Pole and back. Though Linsdau expects -40 degree Fahrenheit temperatures and 40mph winds, his biggest fear is falling into a crevasse. He's already made plans to try and avoid them. “From Hercules Inlet, I’ll head for the Wilson Nunatak to avoid the huge
crevasse field to the east of it,” he said in an October 30 blog post. “In 2003, a female Canadian soloist
fell in a bug crevasse and had to be rescued, as she almost perished.”

WHEN: If the weather cooperates, Linsdau will begin his journey in early November 2012. He expects it to take no longer than 85 days. If he uses the full amount of time, he would average roughly 17 miles of skiing a day.

WHY: “I want to raise awareness for prostate cancer by doing this expedition. A simple
blood test can help save the one in six men who will be stricken with it. Early detection saved my dad
from prostate cancer and I want to help other men survive this disease.” —Aaron Linsdau, June 2012 press release

SPONSORS: Explorers Web, Jackson Hole Boot and Shoe Repair, and others


H/T: The Adventure Blog

—Joe Spring