Polar Vision – The Documentary

Matt Peters, documentary maker shares his thoughts on the Polar Vision project, his new documentary and being an honorary member of the Polar Vision team.

“I’m really proud of our Polar Vision documentary and I’m pleased to be able to share it with the wider world.  One of the aims of the project has always been to raise awareness for the charities and to get Alan’s story out to anyone who would take inspiration from hearing it.  This film is part of that.

Richard and I met by chance one day over lunch in a café in the college town of Hanover, NH, USA.  He briefly explained the idea of Polar Vision and not long after, I found myself on a week-long training trip in -40-degree weather in Northern Canada with Richard, Alan and Andrew.  It was a really great trip to get a sense for the scale of the undertaking that the Polar Vision team were taking on and it was also really useful for me to get to know the team that I appeared to be gradually joining.

Despite shivering in our tents one evening, we decided to move forward with the full-length documentary.  We didn’t know the adventures that would come but we knew that it would be ‘epic’ and we knew it would be unique and I soon found myself traveling over 24 hours down to Punta Arenas, Chile.  I was able to film the team getting ready, getting nervous and getting on board the huge plane that would take them to Antarctica.

While on the ice, the team filmed themselves and therefore I had to sort through nearly 40 hours of footage, but I was rewarded every time I came across a gem like Richard talking to the camera and saying “Matt, you can cut Andrew out of this” or Andrew and Alan talking to me through the camera as if I were there with them (I usually kept those parts to embarrass them).

It was easy for me to give my time to this project knowing that the guys were devoting so much of their time and heart into their broader mission of inspiring others. One of the biggest challenges of the project for me was keeping tabs on everyone as they lived in so many different places and throughout the project all of them have moved at least once. It was a real pleasure to track these guys down in different parts of the globe to hear the story of their Antarctica trek and turn it into a film to share with others.

I hope people feel a part of the team and are inspired to get out and try things, set goals, and do something unexpected no matter what their challenge is.

-Matt Peters

Polar Vision – The Documentary

 

On our way home!

From Alan………..

Well here we are, just some 48 hours since our final steps to the South Pole.

On reaching the pole the experience of being at the bottom of the world is surreal, exhilarating and humbling.

We were blessed with some perfect weather for our pole day, with clear blue skies and low winds although obviously still in the -25c region!

At the South Pole the dramatic circle of flags surrounding a raised silver ball marking the place of the ceremonial South Pole as well as the nearby simple sign showing the Geographical North Pole (which is moved every year by 10ft due to glacial shifts).  It was very emotional stood contemplating these flags, due to what they represented to us as much as they did a geographical marker; this was the conclusion of so many days of effort.

That evening we devoured fresh bread, salmon, cheese and a couple of beers.  After completing various photographs and phone calls I fell into a dreamless sleep with the knowledge that for the first time in 39 days our morning would not commence with the agonising chore of melting snow and preparing for another day pulling our pulks.

The following day we were fortunate enough to visit the centre at the pole and although we had to experience some of the team members belief that there was an ‘area 51′ equivalent there, it was a fascinating experience and of course the novelty of being in a warm environment was still fresh.

After a brief lunch we flew back in a small twin otter plane to Union Glacier on the coast of Antarctica.  During the flight we all thought the same thing, in 10 minutes of flight time we had covered the equivalent of a day hauling sleds, it was quite depressing!

So here we are now, all packed, fed and waiting for a Russian cargo jet and weather permitting will be back off to Chile tonight.

There are so many people we would like to thank, but that list would be as large as our blog posts combined, that said there are a few we would like to mention:

Firstly our sponsors, Arclight Capital for their incredible generosity and support, Tuck and Haas Schools both staff, students and alumni with their encouragement and commitment to the cause, Marmott, Mojamix, 110% and Oakley for the equipment and expertise. Lastly Iridium for keeping us connected.

A huge thank you to our guide Hannah McKeand whose wealth of experience has made the expedition easier also the support team in Antarctica who have made the trip smooth and who do a mean cooked breakfast at the South Pole station.

Furthermore we want to thank friends and family and significant others who have donated time (and in the case of my wife her patience) and support for the expedition.  A few shout outs however, Liz, Garrick, Russ and Matt thank you for your time and efforts.  To Suzanne Kentish (Richard’s sister) who drove the Polar Vision machine reliably and expertly in our absence, we would have been lost without her.

Finally a thanks to all of you who have followed us via this blog, asking questions, sending words of encouragement and keeping us in your thoughts.  All of you have been a part of this journey.

We hope that Polar Vision with the media and funds generated will have an impact on our charities Sightsavers and Guide dogs and the blind and for partially sighted and the blind communities around the globe.

Thank you once again from all of the Polar Vision team for the last time here in Antarctica

Alan, Richard and Andrew

****** WE MADE IT! ******

From Richard

WE MADE IT!!!!!

We finally reached the South Pole after 39 days.  It is fair to say the team are excited, elated and exhilarated but also exhausted.  The weather has been very kind to us today; it’s been beautiful to come into the South Pole.

Unfortunately Andrews binding gave way half way through the day but we took some weight off him and we shared it around the team and the team marched on regardless.  Despite the linguistic contradiction, we feel we are on top of the world right now!!

We have to take the photographs to capture this moment then off to have a cup of tea and a nice warm meal.

Its a fantastic day for the team and everyone is delighted and really excited.

We have so many people to thank and we will do so individually over the next few days.  We want to however give a big shout out to our sponsors Arclight Capital and Iridium, plus all the students, staff and alumni at both Tuck at Dartmouth and Haas Schools.

We could not have done this without everyone’s support and it’s been great to hear all your messages of goodwill and support throughout the trek, we are all very grateful.

We will write more later but want to let you know we are all incredibly excited to have made it!

Right, off for that hot cuppa, anyone have a Jaffa cake to dunk?

Our last camp

From Alan….

Tonight we make camp for what should, barring any surprises, be our final night before we reach the South Pole. All members of the team will be deep in thought this evening.

For Hannah, this will be the sixth time reaching the pole. But, for Rich, Andrew, and me this will be the culmination of over two years of endevour.

From my perspective, the overriding emotion is probably relief. Not relief to be leaving Antarctica (although I think my wife may disagree), but rather relief that all of the various elements of the expedition meshed to allow us to succeed.

From fundraising to training to seemingly endless days of skiing, and the quiet prayers that our equipment will stand up to the fierce conditions – it looks like we are finally within inches of our goal.

Along with the relief, there is a sense of humility. Having the opportunity to be here, in such a special place with the knowledge that this challenge is of our own choosing – and how people supported by Sightsavers and Guide Dogs have a far greater challenge than skiing to the South Pole.

All of us are dreaming of a hot shower, a beer, and of course to see our loved ones. Thanks to all for the tremendous support! Onwards, for the last time, to the Pole!!