Australian explorer Dr Geoff Wilson has officially commenced his solo and unsupported mission in Antarctica, marking the beginning of his epic three-month journey.
Dr Wilson arrived at the Russian base, Novolazarevskaya (Novo) Station, on the coast of Antarctica on November 7 and waited until conditions made possible the 12-hour vehicle transfer to Thor’s Hammer.
He was then left alone to face the reality of the task ahead: attempting to complete the longest solo journey ever made by a human in a polar region by traversing alone and unsupported across 5,800km. On the eve of his departure from Thor’s Hammer he bunkered down in his tent to make final preparations, enduring temperatures of minus 24 inside.
In his first blog post since starting, he recalls the moment he was left alone on the ice: “Stepping out of the heated Arctic truck, I am greeted by the bitter thump of cold air against my chest and the chilly sting that follows, drawing into my lungs. This is a quick reminder of that fact I am now at altitude, and I am not acclimatised to the brutal cold yet. The journey begins!” said Dr Wilson.
“I can feel something coming from the north, a storm, confirmed by a new weather report. I desperately want to get south, as far away from the coast as possible if things get nasty,” he added.
Dr Wilson set out to beat the storm and using his experienced kite skiing skills has already covered approximately 200kms.
Apart from the record breaking distance, Dr Wilson also strives to be the first Australian to make it to the Pole of Inaccessibility on the Antarctic Plateau, and the first person to climb Dome Argus (the coldest naturally occurring place on earth).
No stranger to extreme hardship, Dr Wilson holds the current record for the fastest Coast to Coast crossing via the South Pole of the Antarctic continent (53 days), the fastest crossing of Greenland south to north (18 days), the first and only wind assisted crossings of the Sahara Desert (42 days) and the infamous Torres Strait (3 days). The harsh conditions he faces on The Longest Journey are in stark contrast to life on his family farm in the Currumbin Valley on the sunny Gold Coast in Queensland.
This article was written by eckfactor.
Follow Geoff on Instagram at @drgeoffwilson for all updates as the journey progresses.