Richard leaves for Antarctica
Richard Parks leaves the UK today to head back to Antarctica to ski from Hercules Inlet on the Geographical coastline of Antarctica to the Geographic South Pole.
Hercules Inlet is one of the recognised start points for South Pole expeditions on the Geographical coastline of Antarctica.
Richard’s route to the South Pole will be approximately 1,200km/745 miles. This expedition will be solo, unassisted and unsupported which means he will have to perform and survive in some of the most hostile conditions on the globe on his own, man hauling everything he needs with no external support.
Richard hopes to complete the journey within 35-40 days, although with safety contingencies and travel plans considered, the expedition will be around 7 weeks long door to door.
Having sent his pulk, equipment and clothing by freight to Chile last week Richard has been making last minute adjustments to technical kit, satellite phones and writing his Christmas cards before flying today.
“The last few weeks before an expedition are always crazy” Richard stated. “Mentally it is pretty draining as there is just so much to go through in your head, leaving something out or forgetting something is not an option. I’ve had a lot adapting and tweaks to make to kit on top of a lot of work and meetings as well. It’s been non stop but I am amped to be finally heading off now, it’s game time and I feel ready.”
Richard’s South Pole expedition will form a crucial part of the research and development for his next world first project, known currently as Project X, which he has earmarked for 2014. Project X remains top secret for the time being until the explorer and adventurer announces his next pioneering challenge.
This is Richard’s third R&D expedition this year. First off he returned to Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America before tackling North America’s brutal Denali for the third time in what proved to be very difficult conditions and a perfect testing environment. The expedition to the South Pole will be a further step towards Project X.
Richard stated; “This expedition is the culmination of many months of research and development with my sponsors and suppliers and I am really excited to test these systems in a cold and hostile environment. Antarctica touched me deeply during the first leg of my 737 Challenge and has never left me, I feel very grateful and privileged to be able to go back. It was an incredible moment for me to stand on the South Pole and to have the opportunity to return again is really exciting.”
He added; “It’s going to tough. I’m basically going to be in solitary confinement in a white box for about 40 days, mentally it’s going be very challenging. Physically, I am going to be exerting the calorific equivalent of up to two marathons a day, 6,000 – 8,000 calories a day man hauling my pulk which I hope to get as close to 83 kilos/13 stone as possible.”
“That’s what I will be doing in Punta Arenas in Chile over the next few days before I fly on to the ice, just tweaking my gear to keep the weight down as much as I can.”
CHRISTMAS IN THE ANTARCTIC
“I’m taking a handful of Christmas cards from people close to me, I don’t have a luxury item on this expedition as such, I guess you could call that my luxury. It will be my second Christmas day in Antarctica in two years”.
You can follow Richard’s progress by visiting his Antarctica Blog here at richardparks.com