UPDATES: From the ice
Dr. Geoff Wilson has long been fascinated with the extremes of human endurance and in this solo journey across Antarctica. He intends to break the current record of 5,200 km for the ‘longest solo unsupported polar journey’ in human history crossing the coldest naturally occurring point on planet Earth, the summit of Dome Argus. No human has climbed Dome Argus on foot, a true adventure first.
It is finished.
I’d just taken 13 gruelling hours to get through the mountain region below Thorshammer, dropping from 9,000 feet to 4,500 feet over 56km. I set camp at 6pm. Did the blog, ate, rested my feet and occasionally checked my windsock outside. Northeast, this is what had stopped me in my tracks rather than press on to Novo 103km away. My route was bound by crevassing and the known crevasse free path was to the Northeast. I needed a windshift. I called Sarah and while we connected I casually checked my windsock once more. 8pm and there had been another miracle. Southeast. My body screamed “no” but my mind sensed an urgency for me to go immediately. Sarah agreed saying my catlike 6th sense for these things was generally right. By 10pm I was moving, big kite, slowly bearing me northeast on a hard upwind tack with two heavy sleds and now some deep snow. It was left foot dominant for 35km. The foot was excruciatingly painful but I had to tack upwind and there was no easy way to do it. My map review in the tent had showed a three leg course to Novo. Simply a 35km upwind NE […]
After a 7 hour sleep I was recharged and even my left foot got into the boot without to much complaint. My first tricky job was either to kite or manhaul the sleds through the gap behind Thorshammer as the monolith was blocking the easterly wind. In the end I used a combination and finally got into relatively clean air. I was then on the edge of a huge escarpment looking down on the mountains of Ulvettana and Queen Maudsland many unnamed peaks. The Somo Veken glacier is grand and enormous. I had 24 exact waypoints to follow between me and Novo to keep me out of crevasses. The air was warm, -18c, conditions pleasant as I removed layers for the first time in 57 days! The views today just took my breath away and whilst it was a gruelling day I constantly stopped and pinched myself, so grateful. The air in the mountains is always “dirty”, meaning it ebbs, flows, and gusts. The first downslope I was reminded the hardest. The little 11m kite had done a great job getting me away from Thorshammer but a massive gust hit us halfway down the first escarpment. The kite initially collapsed, […]
The forecast was for the wind to become unfavourable for a run at Thorshammer from camp 55 from midday. The last thing I felt like doing after 208 km yesterday was a short sleep and go again. However I was keen to ride this wind to the nth degree, if I’d known what the terrain was to be like I would have taken a rest day! Midnight the alarm went off, I snoozed once then had “breakfast” and got moving. The wind was a lot lighter, and I made slow progress initially. Then a snow mist or fog came in and I was blind, falling a lot as you couldn’t see the ice surface. I dropped to a storm kite, slowed down and did a bit better. Then it cleared and the wind doubled in strength. For a while I made good miles on good ice. 80km out from Thorshammer, the ice condition worsened. Bang, bang, my knees felt as they were full of ground glass and my left foot complained bitterly as well. I pressed on. 62km out the first Antarctic Rim mountains showed their peaks. This was an exciting moment. I realised it had been 55 days since […]
I’ve managed 208 km today. My left foot demanded a stop and so I listened, I was exhausted. Tent up I sat there and celebrated the day. Thorshammer is 165 km to the North West, I hope to make it soon, wind allowing, however, I have to be careful to remain patient. I have pushed hard to keep a high bearing, so I can make it through the tiny gap at Thorshammer and avoid all the crevasses as I drop off the plateau. I did drop to 10,000 feet today, I have been living above 11,500 feet for over 40 days! HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I thought I’d include some of my personal resolutions here below. New Years resolutions Take my wife on a date weekly to make up for years of expedition stressHave a weekly catchups with the kidsTalk slowly, take more time with people.Hug more.Do some thing warm !
Geoff's Food Supply Countdown
The Longest Journey is an attempt to explore the very far reaches of human tenacity and endurance, a journey of Polar Exploration.
Geoff Wilson has long been fascinated with the extremes of human endurance and in this solo journey across Antarctica. He intends to break the current record of 5,200 km for the ‘longest solo unsupported polar journey’ in human history crossing the coldest naturally occurring point on planet Earth, the summit of Dome Argus. No human has climbed Dome Argus on foot, a true adventure first.
A journey such as this will always have a back story that inspires, motivates and drives the journey forward. For Geoff his motivation comes from not only his family and friends, but the lifelong connections he has made through the McGrath Foundation. Geoff’s passion for the incredible support and work of the McGrath Breast Care Nurses provides rocket fuel for his endeavour and will ensure no hardship will turn him back.
The connection between Breast Cancer Sufferer and Breast Care Nurse is very like the relationship between Geoff solo in Antarctica and his wife and family support back home. The stories of survivors, nurses and on ice challenges shall be told during “Conversations from the Ice” during the Polar Saga.
The official journey kicks off on October 19th, 2019 with the Pink Polar Gala Ball. This is a major fundraising event to launch The Longest Journey team’s fundraising. All money raised going directly to the McGrath Foundation with Geoff and family personally funding the expedition with corporate support.
Straight after the Gala Ball Expedition Launch Geoff will depart for South Africa, then Antarctica to begin the most gruelling challenge of his adventure career so far.
“Through endurance we conquer.”
Your support goes a long way
Every cent that is donated via the Longest Journey website and all proceeds from the Pink Polar Ball go directly to fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia. The foundation currently have 135 McGrath Breast Care Nurses, who help individuals and their families experiencing breast cancer by providing physical, psychological and emotional support.
The McGrath Foundation offers a completely free service to those who are often suffering physical, emotional and financial stress. From the time of diagnosis and throughout treatment, the highly-qualified nurses are there to help. While more than 75,000 families have been supported since 2005, more nurses are needed to meet the growing rate of breast cancer diagnosis in Australia.
Geoff Wilson and the team behind The Longest Journey aim to raise $250,000 to support the ongoing work by the McGrath Foundation by the time Geoff completes his solo and unsupported expedition across Antarctica. The expedition will take 80 – 90 days and when completed will be the longest unsupported polar journey ever made by man.
Geoff will be motivated throughout his challenge by the selfless donations that are pledged by all of us back home, as we all work together towards raising funds for a wonderful cause.
We are all reminded that there are many women, men, family and friends being impacted by this devastating disease. The McGrath Breast Care Nurses provide support and guidance through a difficult time for sufferers and family alike.
You too can help, pledge a donation today.