Which of you have never dreamt of adventures and fantastic exploits? For most of us, those dreams are still just dreams but there’re yet some people who managed to make their dreams come true.
In December, 2011 seven experienced travelers decided to subjugate the Antarctic. Each of them has travelled a lot in their life around the world but none of them has ever been to the South Pole.
The expedition was scheduled for December, 3rd. They planned to reach the South Pole by December, 16th and hoist the national flag of Kazakhstan there. They bought everything they might need in Cape Town.
The expedition was timed to the 20th anniversary of independence of Kazakhstan and the 100th anniversary since Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian explorer of polar regions, discovered the South Pole in December, 1911.
The members of the expedition at Novolazarevskaya Station, a Russian, formerly Soviet, Antarctic research station located at Schirmacher Oasis, Queen Maud Land, 75 km from the Antarctic coast. It was opened on January 18th, 1961 by the 6th Soviet Antarctic Expedition.
Novo Aerodrome. This is where the expedition was to start from.
The aerodrome’s hotel.
They had to pack their food (canned food, fast food, frozen convenience foods) and fuel.
There was just one gas station on their way so they had to make sure they had enough fuel to reach the South Pole.
This mechanical engineer is from Iceland, he’s responsible for the vehicles. By the way, their Toyota Hilux and Prado were custom-redesigned in Iceland specially for the expedition (suspension, transmission, diesel engine). They also painted their trucks the color of the national flag of Kazakhstan.
Ready to go!
It was sunny and not very cold, just -27C. The Gamburtsev Mountain Range was the first obstacle on their way they had to overcome.
The people in those three trucks were the only people in the area extended for hundreds of kilometers in all directions.
The Antarctic put the people and their vehicles to the test. During the expedition, they had to change five wheels and one shock absorber.
Their average speed was about 20 km/h. It was dangerous to run because no one knew what was hidden under the snow. The truck could easily fall through it if there was a crack underneath.
The head of the expedition contacted Kazakhstan every day to report on the expedition.
The gas station.
Those tanks were dropped off the plane beforehand.
It took them 7 days to get to the camp that was situated 20 km from the South Pole.
They had some time to sleep to prepare for the celebration of the 100th anniversary since the discovery of the South Pole.
The national flag of Kazakhstan was hoisted in the South Pole on December, 14th.
They also brought here Kazakhstan’s Constitution.
The ice statue is a bust of the first subjugator of the South Pole Roald Amundsen. In the background, you can see an American scientific research station called the Amundsen–Scott.
They had to go back on December, 14th because there was a snowstorm imminent.
They had to celebrate the 20th anniversary of independence of Kazakhstan on their way back.
They failed to escape the storm and their speed dropped to 3 to 5 km/h.
They slept in their trucks for 2 to 3 hours. The snowstorm was so powerful that they had to literally dig their trucks out of the snow a few times a day.
The snowstorm stopped when they were 200 km from Novolazarevskaya Station.
Another wheel didn’t make it through those freezing temperatures.
They hoisted the national flad of Norway in honor of Amundsen and his expedition.
The sun is always up from November till March here in the Antarctic. The rest of the year it’s darkness.
They had two days to relax after the expedition before flying back home.
They said good bye to the Antarctic and promised to return.