Jason De Carteret.
World record ski attempt
By Cherie Haughton
Guernseyman Jason De Carteret headed off on a 745 mile gruelling ski across one of the most inhospitable places on earth. Unfortunately, a month in, he's had to pull out of the world record attempt due to injury.
Jason De Carteret and team mate Todd Carmichael began their adventure in November, venturing off on a 745 mile gruelling ski across one of the most inhospitable places on earth.
Unfortunately a month in he's had to pull out of the world record attempt to become the fastest unsupported team to ski to the south pole due to a torn ligament in his calf muscle. He's had to leave Todd to continue the expedition alone.
The weather in Antarctica has been extremely bad during December. Jason's belief is that "all the expeditions that were skiing to the pole this year were pretty much cancelled , or if they're not cancelled they're trying to pull people off the ice now because of the deep snow".
The temperatures in Antarctica have been as cold as -72ºC. In other words, as Jason explained, "if you took a glass of hot water and threw it up in the air it would crystalise - it wouldn't come back down to earth, it would almost come down as a sort of glorified snowflake or snow storm."
They hoped to achieve their world record attempt, for the fastest unsupported team ski to the south pole, within 40 days. Their route was planned over some of the toughest terrain and harshest conditions on the planet.
"It really is the ultimate challenge," said Jason. "It's the longest area in the world where you can go without any form of support - you don't cross any roads, there's no telephone lines, there's no nothing."
"There's only a certain number of things that you can plan for. Unfortunately my calf muscle was an unforeseen something and it was a mistake, a slip."
Jason's slip was caused by a terrific amount of wind-blown ice. He thought we would be able to get through it but it only got worse. Jason started to ski differently, creating terrible blisters. "I've now lost three toenails and my heels really rubbed...then everything got infected."
In Jason's words, "It was a painful way to end a beautiful trip, but that's life and you've got to carry on."
Waving goodbye to Todd was "absolutely gutting" for Jason. They had planned and trained for the trip for so long. Jason recalls the moment the plane took off, "so quickly Todd became a little red dot on a vast, vast ice sheet like you've never seen before."
Jason would definitely like to attempt the trip again, but won't be doing so in a hurry due to the enormous amount of preparation required.
last updated: 29/04/2008 at 14:08
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