Dec. 30, 2013 (Truckee, Calif) - Ice Axe Expeditions Founder Douglas Stoup & 19-year-old British Explorer Parker Liautaud set a new speed record for unsupported crossing from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole.
In a daring expedition that required crossing the trans-Antarctic mountain range and enduring twelve-hour travel days in blizzard conditions with temperatures as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit, Stoup and Liautaud covered 314.68 miles (506.27 km) in 18 days, 4 hours and 43 minutes. The previous record was set by 35 year old Norwegian Christian Eide on a different route in 2011. Eide took 24 days, 1 hour and 13 minutes. This was achieved unsupported, unassisted and solo.
Following a successful Ice Axe Expeditions Antarctic cruise with 100+ guests and crew in November, arctic explorer and climate change activist Doug Stoup joined Liautaud and the Willis Resilience Expedition. The expedition, which departed on December 6th from the Ross Ice Shelf, was a 40 day expedition to collect scientific data, pilot a new model of weather station and attempt a speed record from the Antarctic coast to the South Pole. Each explorer towed sleds carrying their gear, weighing over 170 lbs respectively. This was the pair’s fourth expedition together, with Liautaud being the youngest person to reach both the North and South Poles.
Upon arrival at their destination Stoup commented, “I’m proud to stand next to Parker at the Geographical South Pole after just over 18 days of skiing across Antarctica unsupported. I’m also proud to be here as an ambassador for climate change. Parker showed remarkable resilience throughout this expedition. He is an inspiration for his generation.”
In an effort to better understand how climate is changing in Antarctica the Willis Resilience Expedition team collected snow samples for three distinct research programs. It is their goal to contribute to the understanding of global climate patterns; the Antarctic ice sheet and how melting might cause sea levels to rise.
Upcoming trips for Ice Axe Expeditions and Stoup include an Amazon River Cruise that will be featured on Outside TV’s Epic Quest, a ten-day expedition to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco for the best skiing in Africa and a nine-day ski tour in Greenland.
“I want to extend a special thank you to the entire Willis Resilience Expedition team, specifically Parker Liautaud, mechanic Eyjofur Teitsson, cinematographer Paddy Scott and communications director Nathan Hambrook-Skinner,” says Stoup.
Stoup would also like to thank his sponsors for their generous support, including: Marker-Völkl, Scarpa, Mountain Hardwear, Goal Zero, Smith Optics, Suunto, Baffin, Sole Footbeds & American Outdoor Products.
About Doug Stoup
In addition to founding and running Ice Axe Expeditions, Doug is an expedition leader, polar guide, cinematographer, ski & snowboard mountaineer, climber, motivational speaker, environmentalist and educator. Doug Stoup has appeared in numerous films, TV programs, magazines, newspapers and radio shows. He is a proud member of the International Polar Guides Association and a supporter of the Climate Reality Project.Contact information
About Ice Ace Expeditions
Founded by polar explorer Doug Stoup in 1999, Truckee, Calif. based Ice Axe Expeditions specializes in adventure travel to some of the most remote destinations on earth. With core competencies of polar logistics, expedition consultation and professional guiding, Ice Axe Expeditions is adept at making the most inhospitable environments accommodating for all types of adventure travelers. For more information on Ice Axe Expeditions, please visit: Ice Axe Expedition’s website or Ice Axe Expeditions on Facebook.