Antarctic Expeditions Wrap Up

Our final Antarctic update of the season covers Masatatsu Abe’s aborted expedition and Erik Bertrand’s solo ski expedition from Berkner Island to the South Pole.

Masatatsu Abe

After a couple of days stuck in his tent, the weather improved enough for Abe to reach a safe pick-up point. ALE has transported him to camp and his support team report that he is in “good physical and mental health.”

In the end, Abe moved too slowly to make the Pole. Soft snow and poor visibility hampered him and he eventually stopped in the Transantarctic Mountains.

Abe will now fly back to Japan via Chile.

Erik Bertrand

An expedition that flew under our radar this year, Erik Bertrand set off solo from Berkner Island on November 17. On January 15, he completed his 60-day journey to the South Pole.

Bertrand reported soft snow and warm temperatures on Berkner but made good progress until around 86° south. Here, he ran into some poor weather, with frequent whiteouts and snowfall. The slower pace, combined with rations that may have been a little, uh, light, meant that Bertrand had a nervy final run to the Pole. He finished with no food to spare and has lost a whopping 28kg!

A significantly lighter Erik Bertrand at the South Pole. Photo: Erik Bertrand

Martin Walsh is a freelance writer and wildlife photographer based in Da Lat, Vietnam. A history graduate from the University of Nottingham, Martin's career arc is something of a smörgåsbord. A largely unsuccessful basketball coach in Zimbabwe and the Indian Himalaya, a reluctant business lobbyist in London, and an interior design project manager in Saigon. He has been fortunate enough to see some of the world. Highlights include tracking tigers on foot in Nepal, white-water rafting the Nile, bumbling his way from London to Istanbul on a bicycle, feeding wild hyenas with his face in Ethiopia, and accidentally interviewing Hezbollah in Lebanon. His areas of expertise include adventure travel, hiking, wildlife, and half-forgotten early 2000s indie-rock bands.

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