American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Antarctica, South Pole International Overland Expedition

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1990

South Pole International Overland Expedition. During the austral summer of 1988-89, the first privately funded cross-country ski expedition to the South Pole took place. Eleven members representing five nations reached the South Pole on January 17, 1989. The journey took 50 days and covered a distance of 750 miles. This was 77 years to the day since George Fallon Scott’s expedition had arrived at the pole. We had just finished the first overland crossing from the South American side. We started from Hercules Inlet off the Ronne Ice Shelf at 80° S, 80° W and paralleled the Ellsworth and Thiel Ranges. Supported by snowmobiles and pre-arranged caches, we averaged 15 miles a day with temperatures down to –35°. We navigated ten days in whiteout conditions with only a compass, resting only when the storms deteriorated into a summer blizzard. The members were Canadians Martyn Williams, leader, and Stuart Hamilton, Briton Mike Sharp, Chilean Alejo Contreras Staeding, Indian J.K. Bajaj, and Americans Victoria Murden, Jerry Corr, Sherly Metz, Ron Milnarek, Joseph E. Murphy Jr. and I.

James Williams

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