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ice-walk posted on 10 Jan 2013, 22:43 GMT

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On Ice

Antarctica

47

23 km  

2805 m above sea level

Sunny

Polar Plaateau Antarctica

-89.4644 / -80.0938

Day 47, Wednesday 9th January: Roland is definitely homing in on the Pole. It is becoming a reality. It has been a real challenge with difficulties and conditions teaming up to halt him, but he has really kept his head down and come through it all. If he keeps focused now he will in 60km be the first ever German to walk solo, unsupported and unassisted to the Geographical South Pole.
In a way he is beating himself. He did the South Pole in 2005 with a team. But this time he goes one better and joins a very small group to have done it solo. For almost 50 days he will have seen no one. Seen nothing, no life no plane. Totally isolated.
And then today came. He started the day as usual. Taking a long time to ready his stomach and then he went skiing. It started with a looooong hill. Not steep, just long and he worked hard to get to the top.. As he did so he suddenly saw a group of people some 5 km out a bit to the left. He was so surprised and stunned he froze! As he digested the shock he got aware of another team straight out to the west! A big group of 10-12 skiers? Ha nearly freaked! People! Life! Creatures moving on the ground. He had a big grin on his face as he turned to go back to the sledge for a drink. And there, behind him was another group!!!
It was 3 Last Degree teams that the plane had dropped on the ice 111km from the Pole. It was the highlight of the day and fully amused he carried on. He would have liked to say hello to one of them, but he did not want to deviate from his course, and he was much faster than them, so by camp he has all alone again.
His hopes of big distances on the last leg has been put to rest. His stomach has not only weakened him, but it takes time in the morning to get ready, so the day is shortened. Then he struggles for some hours before the body settles in and he ‘flies’ the last 3-4 hours. This gives him a great feeling before camping. In about three days it will be time to rest!

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