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.
Onward and upward
The next phase of the journey begins, into uncharted territory. Having all agreed as a team that it was better to play it safe with the fuel situation and not go for the Pole, but instead head for Dome Argus I felt peace wash over me, since making the decision. To get to Dome A was going to require a Herculean effort in any case, as wind is so scarce in that sector. We all (our expedition team at home) looked at the numbers and agreed. Wanting to start this next segment well, I awoke 5:30 am and had the big kite up on 50 m lines by 7:30. The Dome is North East from me and as such I’m going crosswind, once again across the sastrugi lines. The wind was under 5 knots. Spinning the kite, jamming in the right ski, I’d make a little headway, then smash into rock hard sastrugi and all momentum was lost. The sleds are too heavy for this, but there’s nothing I can do to lighten them except by eating more! I managed 10 km then thought I’d get creative by doing some shuttle-runs. Despite hating the idea of separating the sleds, maybe […]
To The Dome
Expedition Announcement For 3 days as I push towards the South Pole I have been doing fuel and food calculations, evaluating worst case scenarios and trying to make a good call. I’ve suffered the loss of 3 fuel bottles through leakage or rupture within the sleds. The terrible cold combined with sastrugi punishment cost me early on in the journey. Initially I was staying pig-headed-positive, but I began to realise if I ploughed on without doing the math I could get into trouble. Out here, fuel = water and warmth. No fuel = dehydration, hypothermia and worse, so I have to consider carefully. It’s a close call, I’ve got plenty left to get my by, however, my redundancy supply is the one under threat. If all goes well, there won’t be any need for the extra margin we’ve factored in – however, the South Pole is renowned for periods of windless-ness, which I can’t afford to risk. (Particularly maintaining my unsupported status.) Reaching The South Pole if of less importance to me than my primary objectives. I’ve be been there, on my previous expedition and it is not central to the expedition goals. What is of most importance to me […]
My mind drifted into the “bone lands” scene from the Lion King, crawling with hyenas and danger lurking in every moment. The satrugi was so challenging to weave through, a calous and unforgiving maze of gnarled ice. I tried to stay positive, keep a good attitude and enjoy myself, despite the discomfort on my body. This lasted all of five minutes, soon I was raging at the ice all around me. -32C below chewed through 4 layers of gloves as I negotiated through corridors of gouged and distressed looking ice my good attitude, gone! It looks as though the plateau has suffered through some serious winter storms to gouge the ice this heavily, and in two differing directions. This could go on for days or even weeks! The big 18m kite was moving me too fast to negotiate the ice walls effectively, after two dangerous dismounts, I decided to reduce size to the 11m. The slower pace was frustrating but much safer. I keep reminding myself I’m in the endurance event of my life, no point risking injury – patience first. Drawing a deep breath I resolved to lower my daily mileage expectations and just do my best to get […]
A shift in perspective I kept my families farewell letters hidden in my journal unread so I could read them at the end of leg I. I read them last night – I was a mess. Such amazing words from our 3 kids and sons in law, Simon and Alex. I was torn, half of me wanted to pack up and get back to them the other half inspired to go on. Words so inspired that I’ll keep these letters forever. I took something from each letter between frozen-Polar-tears. As I put my boots on for the day, my feet cried mercy, my hands begged for relief then something Simon wrote came to me…“You worked so hard to get here, don’t allow uncomfortable weather, body aches and fatigue rob your joy from you” Wow, incredible wisdom. Each letter had multiple gems like this. Kit’s insight into my drive, incredible. Java’s connection. Jade’s continual boosting support. I started today with a renewed attitude. Every day so far has felt like a battle against this colossal continent, Antarctica. (Aside from day 17 and 26.) I embraced the sun on my back, (a balmy -27 C) making distance southwards. I listened to incredible […]
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.