Shackleton Centenary Expedition

Skiing August 16 2008

Skiing in Milne Land.jpg

Henry Adams, Master of all things Kit felt compelled to write a few paragraphs about the joys of skiing, here they are:

"As written elsewhere on this site, the original 1908-9 team walked over 800 miles to within 97 miles of the South Pole. One of the extraordinary things about this feat is that they did actually "walk", rather than ski. They carried rudimentary skis with them but hardly used them, disregarding Norwegian advice that skiing was by far the most efficient means of travelling on foot.

Today, the efficiency of skis is beyond dispute. We will not have to wade knee-deep through snow drifts day after endless day, as our forebears did. Instead, we will glide over the surface as much as possible using extremely efficient, lightweight and strong skis made by Asnes.

Asnes have very kindly sent us three pairs of their well-proved Nansen skis, which we will travel on day in day out except on the blue ice of the Beardmore Glacier. The skis are fitted with Rottefella Back Country bindings, which have a simple yet robust pin system which connects to the toes of our boots.

We have used this system throughout our training over the last two years and despite some shocking falls (sometimes amusing, sometimes frightening), we haven't broken a ski or a binding yet. In one incident, in flat light in Norway, Henry Worsley fell going downhill at pace straight into the bottom of a 12 foot deep crevasse. His 80kg sledge missed his head by inches. The result? A slightly bent ski stick and no damage at all to the skis or bindings.

I've probably just jinxed our luck with skis and bindings but we don't know of a more proven and efficient way of travelling 900 unsupported miles in Antarctica than with Asnes' skis and Rottefella bindings under our feet."

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