We are incredibly excited to share the news – our team has finally arrived at the South Pole!!
The Inspiring Explorers, Mike, Laura, and Marthe, with expedition leader Nigel Watson and guide Bengt Rotmo, arrived late on 6 January after skiing almost 1000km over 50 days to the heart of Antarctica. Congratulations team, we are so so proud of you!
150 years since the birth of the first to make it to the South Pole, Roald Amundsen, Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ has shown just how far the explorer mindset can take you.
Here are the team’s reactions to reaching the South Pole in their own words.
Mike Dawson: “It’s overwhelming to be here. It was a surreal feeling seeing the South Pole marker after such a long journey. Compared with my white water adventures, this was a long slow burn, every day walking towards that goal for 50 days.”
Laura Andrews: “It’s more about the journey than arriving. We had an amazing team spirit and that carries you through the high and low points. To have this continuous time in this pristine and beautiful environment where one minute you have perfect snowflakes and the next dramatic sastrugi – it’s just incredible.”
Marthe Brendefur: “I have so much respect for what Amundsen and his team went through now that I have experienced how piercing, cold and ruthless Antarctica can be. I love the expedition life – even the unpleasant parts. I loved pulling my sledge, using my entire body to move it – it was really satisfying!
Expedition Leader Nigel Watson NZAM:
“Today AHT’s Inspiring Explorers South Pole Expedition™ reached our goal, skiing the last 28km. We are cold and tired but exhilarated to be on this spot in the footsteps of legends like Amundsen, Scott and Hillary, with tears, joy and weariness windy conditions. After 50 days of dragging sledges from the Ronne Ice Shelf we have made it to Pole. From the highs and lows along the way we have arrived.
“Our Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ #8 has had it all. It has inspired a new generation of explorers who will be part of the future guardians of the explorer’s legacy AHT cares for.
“Huge thanks to Bengt Rotmo, polar guide, who was calm, professional and generous in sharing his expertise with the team along the journey. To the Ousland Explorers team: Lars, Borge, Rune, and Amanda, thanks for all your hard work and support. Ousland Explorers are the best in the business.
“To the AHT team, huge thanks for the months of planning and support, especially Francesca, Anna, Paddy, Jess, and Karen. Thanks to ALE Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions and to the Thiels traverse team in particular. To our partners and sponsors: Clothing Partner Norrøna, Photographic Partner Canon, Amundsen’s House, Brynje of Norway, Fjellpulken, Helsport, Åsnes, and TrackMe NZ, thanks for your support.
“To the hundreds of young people who applied, we are excited about Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ #9 which will be our biggest yet, more details next month!
“For now the team are excited about getting home and reuniting with loved ones, but first we are all looking forward to a shower and change of clothes after 50 days. Thanks to you all for tuning in and following the journey. We are grateful for your support.”
Nigel Watson NZAM Expedition Leader
We want to express our gratitude to Expedition partner Ousland Explorers, Clothing Partner Norrøna, Photographic Partner Canon, Roald Amundsen’s House, Brynje of Norway, Fjellpulken, Helsport, Åsnes, and TrackMe NZ, along with logistics provider Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions for helping make this expedition possible.