Expedition Questions

Now that the expedition is over, there are still many questions to be

At Union Glacier

At Union Glacier

answered. Sorry I was not able to get to them during the trek!

Questions from Roy and Debbie Takeda on the expedition

Would you consider doing it again? If so, how much additional corporate sponsorship?

That’s something I’ve debated for the past month and the answer is still no. There are plenty of things I’m chasing after, like the Expedition Grand Slam and being a person who has done the full distance rather than a last degree trip or just flying to the pole. For me, just flying to a pole, checking your GPS and flying home isn’t too much of an expedition, though it can be an adventure.

Also, I am considering the North Pole as a solo, too. Though I’d rather do this as a team based on the increased risks in the Arctic, I’ve not come to a good conclusion yet. Yes, I will pursue mutually beneficial relationships with corporate sponsors for my future expeditions.

Since you will complete your expedition soon, would it be easier to obtain corporate sponsorship for a second expedition to the south pole?

Ready for flight to Ronne Ice Shelf

Ready for flight to Ronne Ice Shelf

Yes, I’ve been told it’s much easier to work with sponsors once you have completed a major expedition on your own, such as a pole or an 8,000m peak.

What would you change in your physical preparation for the expedition?

I will definitely purchase a pair of skate skis on sale. That is one thing I think will help me next time. Towing the tire was still the best but adding the skis to it will enhance the reality of the workout. Also, I’ll go all out on leg weight lifting workout. I did some but in retrospect, not as much as I could.
But first I need to get completely healed from my Antarctic trip.

What would you change in the equipment/clothing you purchase or take?

I’ll have an avalanche rated shovel and it’ll have to be modified for the north pole. There are other items unique to there, like firearms, that are unnecessary elsewhere due to the wildlife.

What changes would make in your diet?

Endless bags of food

Endless bags of food

The amount of chocolate will be dramatically reduced & replacedI still don’t like eating it.

Would you do it at a different time of the year? Maybe a little earlier or later in the summer season down there?

No, there is no choice but to trek during the time of year I did. Both earlier and later are not possible at the poles due to the weather and transportation restrictions.

If you don’t do this expedition again, would you consider a different expedition in the future to some other location?

Yes, I’m evaluating expeditions to the arctic and Denali.

If you don’t do this expedition again, what advice would you give to someone that would like to follow in your foot steps and attempt the solo unassisted expedition to the south pole?

Desk of stuff at Condor del Plata

Desk of stuff at Condor del Plata

You have to travel six sessions of 75 minutes with 10-15 minute breaks. When going through sastrugi, you have to plow directly through it, not around it. Don’t bother putting skis on Paris sleds, they’re a hindrance unless you’re doing a last degree ski. And, most importantly – pray for good conditions. All of us this year were thrashed by crazy conditions.

Which time zone did you start your expedition in, i.e. pacific time zone, mountain time zone, or do any of the time zones as we know of them have any bearing down there?

I started in Santiago, Chile time. The only bearing for a time zone there is for calling into ALE and the home base. As the sun is up 24 hours a day, the only desirable time requirement is to have the sun at your back, limiting your time zone choices.

Will you cross both international date lines during your expedition?

When I was at the South Pole, I walked around the pole enough times to relive my 38th birthday plus a few spare days.  So I crossed the international dateline many, many times.  As I got closer to the pole, my longitude began varying wildly, as only the slightest movement east or west would alter multiple degrees of latitude.  It was the weirdest thing every, as I’m used to North America where things are relatively consistent.

Update – This was my third attempt to answer all of these questions!  The first got me half-way through, then I had the entire blog database go down, then my iPhone wordpress app ate all my answers.  What a production.

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