Once again Summit President Scott Kress is off on an adventure. Scott has been to Antarctica twice to climb Mount Vinson; the highest peak in Antarctica. The first time was in 2011 to complete the last of the 7 Summits; the highest peak on each of the 7 continents, and the second time was in January of 2016 guiding a team of wounded Canadian Soldiers as part of the work he does with True Patriot Love.
During this time in Antarctica Scott became fascinated with this remote, lonely, hostile and extremely beautiful continent and wanted more of it.
The South Pole is quite a distance from Mount Vinson and Scott had never been, but always wanted to travel to this famous landmark; the bottom of our planet. Scott was able to travel to the magnetic North Pole in 2014, once again guiding a team of wounded soldiers from True Patriot Love, and this hooked him on polar travel.
Although a life-long climber, this new adventure of polar travel appealed to Scott and he cultivated a dream to trek to the South Pole. Hooking up with three other friends this dream is now becoming a reality.
On November 11 Scott will begin to make his way to Antarctica. He will fly from Toronto to Santiago and then to Punta Arenas. From here the team will fly to the expedition basecamp in Antarctica called Union Glacier. From Union Glacier the team will fly in a Twin Otter to the starting point on the edge of the Antarctic continent.
This epic journey begins at the Ronne Ice Shelf on the edge of the frozen Antarctic continent and travels through remote, challenging and unexplored terrain, for almost 1000km to reach the South Pole. This scenic, but committing route skirts the western flank of the massive Foundation Ice Stream and the Transantarctic Mountains, then turns south toward the Pole.
The expedition will be unsupported and unassisted which means no supply drops or help of any kind from outside the expedition team. The team will use xc-skis and pull their gear in sleds weighing in excess of 200lbs. The temperature will be in the neighborhood of -40 and the 24 hours of sun in the Antarctic summer will provide little warmth. It will take the team 45-50 days from the start of the trek to reach the pole.
The team will struggle against extreme cold, snow storms, high winds, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, fatigue and repetitive use injuries. These polar expeditions are some of the hardest physical and mental challenges on earth. Teamwork and personal strength (physical and mental) will determine the difference between success and failure.
When successful Scott will become one of less than 51 people in history to complete what is referred to as the explorers Grand Slam. This is the completion of climbing Mount Everest, climbing the 7 Summits, trekking to the North Pole and trekking to the South Pole. There are several versions of this and Scott’s will be a blend having done a full from-the-coast South Pole expedition and a Last Degree Magnetic North Pole expedition.
Follow along as Scott makes his way to the Pole. The Summit Team building blog https://www.summitteambuilding.com/category/expeditions/ will have regular updates and you can check progress on a map at https://share.delorme.com/ScottKressSouthPole with the password South Pole