How tough is it to make it to the pole, let alone making the return trip?
There is a team in Antarctica right now attempting to make the round trip. They’re running into some difficulties, as to be expected.
Based on their current rate of travel, their projected arrival time at the pole is approximately 112 days from start. Note that as the team is going along, they will deposit caches for their return trip, so this will improve their speed.
Powdery and deep snow are surprising this far out. Normally you experience that at your near-lowest weight south of 88 degrees. This team is getting and extra dose of hurt. Not something that I would wish on anyone!
My experience in Yellowstone has taught me that I have to be ready for soft snow for hundreds of miles. As a consequence, modifications to the sledges have to be made to deal with just this sort of circumstance. Modifications I made last year to my sled made my life 2x easier compared to my 2009 trip through Yellowstone.