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