The first kite crossing of antarctica was by Alain Hubert and Dixie Dansercouer 2,438 miles sometime around 2000, in 99 days, a mere 25 miles per day. They are not real kiters, a more typical 8 hour run at 20 mph is 160 miles. in 1992 and 1993, Ralph Fiennes and Mike Stroud crossed antarctica on foot, 1500 miles in about the same time as Hubert & dansercouer, but it was a shorter distance, only averaging 15 miles per day.

For my crossing I want to do the Fiennes, Stroud path, get a drop off near the Weddel Sea, hit the South Pole, which is close hauled, then straight downwind to the TransAntarctic Mountains, use the path pioneered by Shackleton, down the Beardmore Glacier, and a broad reach across the Ross Ice Shelf, visit Shackleton’s hut, and then arrive at McMurdo Station for the trip back.

This will be the fastest crossing of Antarctica ever. Here are my rules.

1. No frostbite
2. 150 miles every day
3. It’s ok to quit
4. Have fun

This will be a ten day crossing. Ten days! It is an order of magnitude faster than anything ever attempted before. Previous expeditions took food and fuel weighing between 300 and 600 pounds.

We will take 90 pounds worth of gear enough to put in a backpack, though it will probably be easier to stuff it on on an ultralight sledge

backpack contents

1. 50 pound bag of oatmeal, 8,8000 calories for 10 days
2. 2 Flysurfer kites 10 pounds, one viron 4m one delux 15m for winds from 40 knots down to 10
3. 20 pounds of fuel to melt snow
4. 10 pounds of repair material, spinnaker tape, sewing needle thread, epoxy, spare dyneema lines
5. snowboard
6. cameras
7. tent

Because this is not a “first”, just a second crossing I am not taking this whole “unassisted” thing seriously.  Previous unassisted crossings of Antarctica have been voided by stopping at the South Pole for a cup of cocoa.  Because this is a mere second crossing, we will stop for a cup of cocoa if we want.

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