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Kite-Skier Sets Record 3,300-Mile Antarctic Traverse

geoff wilson with his sled and skis resting on a bank of snow
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An Australian explorer just broke the record for the longest unsupported journey across the Antarctic.

Completing a 3,300-mile trek across the Antarctic is no easy feat, and Australian Dr. Geoff Wilson did it with nothing but his supplies, a kite, skis, and sled. The route involved heavy winds, rugged terrain, chilling temperatures, and a race against the clock.

He made history yesterday when he completed his journey. He traveled 128 miles (206 km) farther than the previous record. The grueling polar journey took the 49-year-old explorer 58 days.

Geoff Wilson Polar Record
Photo credit: Geoff Wilson

“It is finished,” Wilson wrote in a blog post after accomplishing the feat. “The waves of relief were hard to describe, emotionally and physically I was done in after pushing for 24 hours straight … I managed the mad descent, then kited straight into the heart of the base and dropped the kite. Thrilled to be alive.”

Wilson’s route included crossing Dome Argus, the coldest naturally occurring point on planet Earth. He’s the first human to climb this summit unsupported.

The final mileage of the new record is 3,297 miles (5,306 km). The explorer not only set a new unsupported polar traverse record, but also set a record for the first human summit of Dome Argus by ski, and also the first Australian to reach the Antarctic’s Pole of Inaccessibility by ski.

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