Random CPUK photograph from the gallery

Our Mission

Planned Route to Pole of Inaccessibility

This coming November, Rory Sweet, Henry Cookson and Rupert Longsdon will be attempting an ambitious and unique expedition. The team will depart from Cape Town on a 2600mile flight south to the Russian scientific base, Novolazarevskaya, situated at the edge of the coldest, windiest, highest, most inhospitable continent on earth ? Antarctica. From here the expedition will spend the next 50 days dragging 19stone(120kg) pulks over 1100 miles(1800km) across the Antarctic wasteland in temperatures as low as -50°C (it never gets warmer than -30°C at their destination and thats during high summer!!).

Their route will take them up through glacier and crevasse fields to an altitude of 11 500 feet(3500m) onto the polar ice plateau where they will head for their main objective, the little known Pole of Inaccessibility. This is the exact center of the Antarctic continent, the point furthest from the Southern Oceans. It has only been reached previously a handful of times, the first being in 1958 by a two year long Soviet expedition using a convoy of 35tonne tracked vehicles. No one has previously attempted to reach the POI by non-mechanical means. The team will be the first English and Canadian people to have ever reached the pole.

To cover these vast distances the team will be using a combination of traditional man hauling and kite skiing. The logistics and preparation for such an expedition are immense. The have been preparing for this trip since December last year and have recently returned from a two week, kite skiing training trip on the Greenland ice cap. This trip will be one of longest and most ambitious expeditions of 2006/7.

Once the team have reached their destination, if ahead of scedule they will press on towards the Russian base Vostok. For every 50km travelled, it will save one drum of aviation fuel for our pick up plane. Out in the middle of the Antarctic, fuel is a staggering 3700 Euros a drum, so every 50km extra we cover will go into the "Cape Town Credit" pot for celebrations when we return to civilisation. Our exit from the continent involves being flown through three Russian bases (a case of whisky will be on the pickup flight so it will be a "pub crawl" with a difference through these bases, before leaving on an ice breaker through the notoriously rough southern oceans. This vovage will take around 10 days as long as we don't get hit by the perfect storm or a Titanic sinking type iceberg!!

View the route map full size.