They will be flying out of Heathrow via Santiago and then onto Punta Arenas to meet the rest of the team, Mark Cadman and our guide Andy Chapman. From Punta Arenas they will fly into the Antarctic to Union Glacier.
The route to the South Pole they have chosen starts from Hercules Inlet, on the edge of the frozen Antarctic continent and finishes at the Geographic South Pole. A journey of 1,130km (702 mi), the expedition will take around 55 days of actual skiing on the ice. During this, they will be skiing for 7-10 hours a day whilst pulling a sled with all of our supplies- which weigh 60-80kg (132-177lbs)
They will experience all types of weather on the expedition facing constant winds, fields of sastrugi (ridges formed by the winds erosion of the snow) and white-out conditions. The temperature will range from -25°C to -40°C with windchill bringing it down to around -50°C.
The days are filled with 24-hour daylight and there is an intense solitude and tranquility out on the plateau that can be found almost nowhere else on Earth.
Out of all the expeditions they have done, this one is by far the most demanding and hopefully the most rewarding as they are privileged to experience a continent like no other and one few people have had the opportunity to experience.
They are using their expedition to raise funds for cancer support charity ‘Yes To Life’ as Mark´s wife, Jenny, was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in late 2019; she received excellent treatment from the NHS, and felt that complementary support helped her through the experience and reduced the side effects. Today as they look to embark on this incredible expedition, Jenny is really well and looking forward to a cancer-free life ahead of her.
We, at Yes to Life, are really grateful for all the support Mark and his team are doing on making this challenge for Yes to Life.
Let´s send Mark and Leanna a good luck message if you can, and support their fundraising efforts by donating to their page.
Visit their fundraising page here:
Mark Shuttleworth is fundraising for Yes to Life (justgiving.com)