“A pathetic voyage”

It’s interesting to read post-mortems about my Antarctica expedition; from

Explorapoles
Explorapoles commentary

Explorapoles:

This young San Diego resident, Aaron Linsdau (38), wanted to become the first American to complete, solo and without any means of assistances (no kites), the classical Hercules Inlet -> South Pole trek – 1 450 miles trip. [actually about 700mi]

Aaron Linsdau (a Carlsbad software engineer) has attempted to be the first American to ski solo and unsupported from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back. But after the worst voyage ever (he had encountered almost evevry setback possible), he made it to the SP [South Pole] but had to give up the idea of the return trip. Consequently, one may say that it was an abandon. And that his expedition is not a successfull one.

See here his pathetic voyage (his daily blog, about 40 pages)

The commentary at the end, about being abandoned and not successful are definitely correct!  I was not successful at completing a round trip.  In fact, I was successful at spending the most time ever getting to the SP.  And I enjoyed every minute of it, no matter how brutal it was.  Originally the expedition was listed as abandoned, suggesting that it was packed in and sent home.  Quite the contrary!

From Explorapoles description of my daily blog:

Here is the daily blog written by American Aaron Lindsau during his voyage : he seems to have endured almost every setback and difficulty possible (coldest temperatures, highest sastrugis, dirtiest snow, strongest winds, worst weather, he had problems with alsmost every part of his equipment, etc.) during his pathetic march to the SP.

As some hold the speed record, he seems to be (on this distance and itinerary at least) the slowest trekker ever. Be ready anyway to read 40 pages of a pathetic voyage.

When you look at it in the high performance perspective, then yes, it was a pathetic attempt.  However, I did not give up.  When that much goes wrong, how many remain in the hunt?

Pathetic Blog
Dramatic and pathetic Blog

Yes, I was not able to make a round trip out of it.  I didn’t plan to kite back, I just planned to ski back.  Slowly learning what others have done, I can see that it was crazy to try something so big for a first major expedition.  Every advantage to overcome every problem I encountered was used.  And, in the end, some things helped and others actually hindered me.

When I read Explorapoles description of the expedition as pathetic, I just had to laugh at myself out loud.  A crippling lung infection, wild conditions, and a stunning list of gear failures made the trek that much more memorable.  As I learned from another explorer this past year, I feel much better to have failed in the trip goal under the worst conditions rather than making it under the easiest conditions.  It’s difficult to explain this and I hope to clarify this more in my book, Antarctic Tears, planned for release at the end of this year.

Author: Aaron

Aaron Linsdau is a photographer.

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