Norwegian breaks South Pole record

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Christian Eide, a 35-year-old expedition leader from Oslo, was still relishing his record-breaking solo trek to the South Pole over the weekend. He arrived at his goal last Thursday, just 24 days, one hour and 13 minutes after leaving Hercules Inlet on December 20, 1,150 kilometers away from his goal.

Oslo expedition leader Christian Eide, after breaking a world record skiing to the South Pole. PHOTO: www.latitude.no

His solo world record soundly beat that set by American Todd Carmichael, who used 39 days and seven hours. Eide said he was so excited as he neared his destination that he couldn’t manage to sleep on the last night. He had expected to spend 30 days skiing to the South Pole, so surprised himself with his own speed.

“I just had to keep going,” said Eide, who runs an Oslo-based expedition company called L’atitude. He arrived on Thursday January 13, after skiing alone for three-and-a-half weeks. He average around 47 kilometers a day, but skied around 90 on the last day.

He wrote in his firm’s online diary, though, that he didn’t get a very warm welcome from the Americans running the Scott-Amundsen base. “I got a strict message that I wasn’t allowed to go inside the base to get my sheet of paper with my official arrival time,” he wrote. “The Americans have decided to have a strict policy towards ‘tourists.’ Is it really necessary to be so unwelcoming? The Americans are otherwise usually very nice.”

On Sunday he was resting after a flight back at the ALE base (Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions LLC) on Union Glacier, where he described spring-like conditions with temperatures as high as minus-7C and sunshine, compared to minus-32 at the South Pole. Around 70 persons were at the base camp, waiting for flights back to Punta Arenas or for new arrivals, and the mood was festive.

Eide wrote that the wait was “perfect” for him, giving him a chance “to relax, calm down, rehash the tour and the result.” He admitted he could still feel the effects of the strenuous tour, and he had some frost and sun damage on his nose.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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