Norwegian Christian Eide set a new solo unsupported, speed record from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole. Eide arrived at the Pole on 13 January, 2011. He averaged more than 29 miles per day to reach the South Pole in 24 days, 1 hour, 13 minutes.
All we can say is “Wow!” Eide beat the previous solo unsupported record set in December 2006 by ALE’s own Hannah McKeand, 39 days, 9 hours and 33 minutes.
McKeand shared her thoughts on Eide’s achievement, “I’m in absolute awe. What Christian has done sets an unprecedented standard for excellence in polar travel. When I set my record in 2006 I immediately realized that there were ways to do it better and faster, but I never dreamt for a moment that someone would put up such an extraordinary performance. There is absolutely no feeling of disappointment at losing my record to such a big-hearted display of endurance and human spirit. I simply feel honored to have witnessed it.”
McKeand also set a new record of sorts, having by the end of the season, skied to the South Pole more times than anyone else! She explains why, “Skiing to the South Pole requires immense endurance, physical strength and mental fortitude. Some days you will hate it, you’ll feel afraid and alone and like you have set yourself an impossible task, but then there are good days and you will have absolutely no doubt in your heart that Antarctica is the most beautiful place on earth. To pass through it slowly is one of the greatest privileges a person can ever know. When the Pole is in sight there is a small part of you that regrets the coming end and the return to normal life, knowing that never again will you experience such a clean and perfect emptiness, such a glorious simplicity of living, and such a profound sense of who you are. The expedition changes you forever.”