Preparing the traverse

Flying above Antarctica ©Pete Akers

Part of the team arrived in Cap Prudhomme (Dumont D'Urville), after leaving Hobart and spending the night at the Italian Mario Zucchelli station. The arrival in the white continent, the flight over icebergs and gigantic glaciers leaves no one indifferent, even the most accustomed. Greetings to the local inhabitants - especially the emperor penguins and Adelie - are in order....


Before the start, Nicolas Caillon, Joël Savarino, Pete Akers, Emmanuel Lemeur, but also the technical team of Cap Prudhomme, are busy with the preparations. The first step is to prepare the first logistic travers to Concordia, which will pave the way. This requires a lot of conditioning and organization.


The weather is not always mild and the catabatic wind, which can reach more than 100km/h, sometimes prevents the progress of outdoor work. Meanwhile no one is bored, there is also work in the shelters, such as the installation of caravans dedicated to science on the traverse. The preparation for departure includes a small first aid training by the doctor (who will be part of the convoy), an accelerated course on the navigation system that equips the vehicles of the raid, the installation of an Iridium satellite antenna that should allow communication with the rest of the world during the raid, the organization of the food stock, etc.....


On the eve of the start, Anthony Vende (French Polar Institute), who is the leader of the raid, briefed the team on the organisation of the convoy and the instructions for using the vehicles. Saturday the 23rd, it's time to go!

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