Aussie explorer Geoff Wilson breaks new ground in Antarctica
Written By: Wild Earth
Polar Explorer and Wild Earth Ambassador has just achieved a world-first for polar exploration!
After 38 days and 2,700km combining traditional man-hauling and kite-skiing, Australian polar explorer Geoff Wilson has made history as the first person to summit Dome Argus in Antarctica, solo and unsupported.
Dome Argus, the summit of the Antarctic plateau, which lies more than 4000m above sea level, 1200m higher than the South Pole, has never before been visited without the help of vehicles or aircraft.
Dome Argus is one of the coldest naturally occurring places on earth, with temperatures ranging from minus 35 to minus 90.
Wilson arrived at China‘s Kunlun summer station at 11.45pm on December 14. The next day, he travelled a further 18km round trip to the plateau’s highest point to officially etch his name in polar history.
According to Eric Philips OAM, Polar explorer and IPGA Master Polar Guide, Wilson’s achievement is remarkable. “Geoff has achieved something truly significant in polar exploration. This is an exceptionally difficult trip for which Geoff has prepared meticulously since his solo kite-ski crossing of Antarctica in 2013-14. “It is fitting that an Australian should be the first adventurer to reach this point, which lies in Australian Antarctic Territory,” he added.
Wilson said the journey towards Dome Argus from the Pole of Inaccessibility was challenging both mentally and physically and at times painstakingly slow as he battled unexpected conditions, including knee-deep snow.
“It’s been a brutal campaign getting here, but I had some miracle wind yesterday that got me the last 118km but it’s just been a very, very tough journey to get here.”
“Against all odds, made it today on the zephyr of wind .. I’ve just made it to Kunlun Station, right at the top of Dome Argus... It’s quite amazing to be here. It’s close to minus 40, really cold at 14,000 feet and the base is abandoned,” said Wilson.
Wilson now begins the journey home from Dome Argus, more than 2,400km back to Novo Station, the Russian Base Camp, close to where his journey began early November.
Wilson is the first Australian to make an unsupported journey to the Pole of Inaccessibility
(December 1) and the first person to summit Dome Argus (Dec 15) unsupported.
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