ANTARCTICA 2023 is a 2023 kilometre unsupported journey for the future of our planet – from Berkner Island to the Ross Ice Shelf.
To our knowledge, this will be the longest ever unsupported ski crossing of Antarctica (2023km) and the first unsupported ski crossing of Antarctica by an Australian or New Zealander.
In one of the most audacious polar expeditions ever undertaken, Gareth and Richard will attempt to cross the entire continental mass of Antarctica, unsupported, using manpower alone.
Imagine setting out on a 2,023km long expedition across snow and ice, climbing mountains and glaciers. Wind storms, with speeds up to 150km, will be frequent and the average temperature will range around -25 degrees Celsius and could go as low as -43 degrees.
Through all this you need to keep going. Storms and bad weather can’t stop you. You must continue and you are pulling a 160kg sled with all your food and gear behind you. You must make it to the base of the Reedy Glacier to the finish point on The Ross Ice Shelf in 75 days or your rations will run out.
Polar explorers Dr Richard Stephenson and Dr Gareth Andrews from the Last Great First Pty Ltd, are planning to achieve this feat of human endurance and rewrite polar expedition history.
“No person who has not spent a period of his life in those ‘stark and sullen solitudes, that sentinel, the Pole’ will understand fully what trees and flowers, sun-flecked turf and running streams mean to the soul of a man”
The Expedition Stats
The team from The Last Great First Pty Ltd will leave from Sydney, Australia and Dunedin, New Zealand at the end of October 2022. They will arrive in Chile and travel to Punta Arenas for final gear packing and preparation.
Flying with ALE they will arrive on the coast of the Weddell Sea on the edge of the Ronne Ice Shelf, North of Berkner Island. Alone and unsupported they will depart from the out edge of the Ronne Ice Shelf.
Starting with everything they need for the expedition, their sleds will weigh 160kg each and are attached by harnesses to their bodies.
To maintain their wellbeing and strength, they will each have to eat 7,000 calories every day.
They will ski 1368 kilometres from the coast to reach the South Pole and then 655 kilometres to the base of the Reedy Glacier on the Ross Ice Shelf.
This will see them ski a total of 2023 kilometres.
Gareth and Richard expect to complete their expedition ANTARCTICA 2023 around 18 January, 2023
Would you like to be involved with ANTARCTICA 2023?
Your donation will help us purchase specialist equipment needed for the polar expedition.
ANTARCTICA 2023 Scientific Program
ANTARCTICA 2023 will achieve more than re-writing polar history.
This will be the longest ever unsupported skiing crossing of Antarctica’s pristine wilderness and will give scientists a rare insight into the impact humans are having in regard to climate change and polar environments.
Support received from Antarctic Science Foundation and Scouts Australia will make a significant contribution to climate change science and conservation and help with our role in saving this fragile area.
Read more about how the expedition will further our knowledge on climate change by clicking here.
This will inspire and educate the next generation of adventurers and leaders.
ANTARCTICA 2023 is the ultimate test of human endurance.
The extreme conditions will test mental resilience, physical fitness, meticulous planning and risk management while allowing the rest of the world to better understand how to protect this beautiful and unforgiving wilderness.
We have made it to our start point on Berkner Island! After a 2.5 hours flight from union Glacier Camp we landed at the Gould Bay Emperor Penguin colony to drop supplies to the camp there.
We then flew on to our current location on Berkner Island.
Tomorrow we have to ski 10kms north to the coastline and then turn south to start our crossing.
We are feeling great and can’t wait to get going tomorrow