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Gold Coast Antarctic explorer Geoff Wilson becomes the loneliest man on Earth

By Brittney Kleyn, Monday December 2, 2019 - 17:08 EDT
ABC licensed image
Geoff Wilson at the Antarctic Pole of Inaccessibility, beside a statue of Vladimir Lenin. - ABC licensed

Antarctic trekker Geoff Wilson has made it to the furthest point from any ocean — he's believed to be the first Australian explorer to set foot on the so-called Pole of Inaccessibility.

After 23 days and 1,665 kilometres of battling the elements on his own, the Gold Coast veterinarian arrived at the Pole of Inaccessibility early on Sunday morning.

"I've managed to make distance every day, so my poor body was absolutely desperate for rest," he told the ABC via Skype on Monday morning.

"I had a rest day today, my first rest in 23 days ... I had a beautiful day in my sleeping bag, it's been about minus 30 (degrees) all day so not really lounging weather, but good recovery weather."

Dr Wilson, a father of three, is no stranger to record-breaking expeditions and is on track to be the first explorer in the world to complete what has been dubbed The Longest Journey — a 5,500-kilometre trip around Antarctica.

"The next goal is a feature called Dome Argus, which is the highest point of the polar plateau and the coldest naturally occurring place on planet Earth," he said.

That is still another 1,000 kilometres away on a trek that is expected to take three months to complete.

Dr Wilson is travelling by kite power where possible, pulling two sleds weighing 200 kilograms with enough fuel and food for 90 days.

"Nobody's ever done this journey so there's a lot of unknowns. We don't know how much crevassing I'll encounter — there could be a lot of challenges.

"I've got sleeping bags, my tent, two stoves and the electronics gear."

This allows Dr Wilson to communicate via satellite with people back home.

The satellite technology alone weighs 7 kilograms and he admitted he had already been forced to discard some food due to the weight of his electronic connector.

"The toss-up is I feel connected," he said.

Dr Wilson is providing what is believed to be the first live feed of an Antarctic expedition.

"People can follow the journey as though they're there, it's amazing."

From the Russian Novolazarevskaya Station on November 7, Dr Wilson drove for 12 hours to a location known as Thor's Hammer to begin his expedition.

It is a far cry from his Queensland home, and he likened his training regime to that of the first Olympic Jamaican bobsled team.

"We're training on the beach on the Gold Coast and in big commercial freezers ... so it really is pretty crazy," he said.

"There's something in my DNA, Aussie but there's Viking blood in there somewhere."

Dr Wilson has already laid claim to the fastest coast-to-coast crossing of Antarctica (53 days), the fasting crossing of Greenland (18 days) and the first and only wind-assisted crossings of the Sahara Desert (42 days) and the Torres Strait (three days).


© ABC 2019

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