Three weeks in now and we’re a lot smellier and hairier, but we are still going strong! 400km mark today! Wohooo
We’re well into our stride and our routine now, quick and efficient at making and breaking camp, maximising our time either skiing or resting. The Pensacola Mountains have gradually increased in size all day, partially hidden by the curve of the earth as they’re still over 100km away but clearly visible in the pristine crystal clear Antarctic air.
Skiing Time 8h 54min
Average HR 102
Max HR 129
Calories burned 5864
Average HR 110
Max HR 134
Calories burned 6145
This evening we had the privilege of speaking to Qantas Pilot Alex Passerini 20,000 feet above us as we sat in our tent eating our dinner. Expedition team member Phillip Hordern was on board the Chimu Adventure flight, with all the guests and crew enjoying the magnificent Antarctic Scenic Experience.
See his report below on this amazing experience.
Expedition team member Phillip Hordern’s review
Flying over Antarctica 4 December 2022
The invitation to join this one day Qantas- Chimu Expedition tourist flight was a unique opportunity to talk about Gareth’s and Richard’s Antarctica2023 Expedition:
Arrival – first came the meeting with the organizers and other “experts” to talk about different topics during the trip. I coordinated with the pilots for the live satellite telephone call to Gareth and Richard. The ambience amongst the arriving passengers was very different from a normal flight, here there was a mix of all ages, solo flyers, couples, families out for a fun day on a 787.
After breakfast I was invited to talk 20 minutes to 250 “guests” and crew over the PA speaking about the Expedition. It was great – all were listening.
The pilot, Alex Passerini talked by satellite telephone with Richard on the ground for 15 minutes – they reported they were warm in their tent, finishing dinner, they had travelled 24klm in good weather on the ice shelf. All passengers were really impressed with this call.
Next I walked through the plane speaking to passengers and answering questions – many were interested in the food, weight of sleds, tent, navigating, type of ski and bindings, the cost, my link to the expedition and of course the toilet issues (more from women than men). Many said they would follow on the blog, some even said they would make a donation which we immensely appreciate.
The real trip highlight was flying for 3 hours at 20,000 feet over the white continent (4 times larger than Australia) – amazing, white, silent, empty, virgin snow, spectacular mountains – many photos of the maze of broken sea ice, the rugged mountains with glaciers, the flat ice shelf. No photo captures the real scenery. What impressed me most was the mixing, sharing, smiles, bonding and conversations between passengers which for many this was a dream come true, an experience of a lifetime.
It was a LONG day – 6am arrival at check-in, 7:45 boarding, 10pm landing back in Sydney. The organisation and flight crew did an amazing job – an excellent experience.
Pilot on talking on the telephone
Phillip and Meg Hall- Chimu Organizer
Stunning views near Mt. Minto
Flat, silent empty Ice Shelf