Alexander Skarsgård’s US team “Walking With The Wounded” expedition is waiting in South Africa, their take-off point to Antarctica where they will race U.K. and Commonwealth teams on a trek to the South Pole. They will wait for the weather to clear. Read more below…
Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge Expedition Manager Victoria Nicholson sent an update on behalf of all the teams in Cape Town, who have been held in South Africa a bit longer than planned due to bad weather conditions in Antarctica, and very strong winds that made it impossible to fly to Novo.
The teams and the support crew are due to fly to Novo on Friday morning, but this will be confirmed this afternoon depending on the most recent weather forecasts. Listen to Victoria’s voice blog to know more.
“Everyone is enjoying good food and comfortable beds in Cape Town, is obviously lovely weather, not great for the arrival in Antarctica as the temperature difference will be about 30°C. It is currently -10°C at Novo, but it will get much colder when we get up to the Antarctic plateau.”
Alexander Skarsgård is an honorary member of the U.S. team, while Dominic West, perhaps best known for his role as McNulty in “The Wire,” joins veterans wounded in combat from the Commonwealth nations of Canada and Australia.
The seven-person teams also include a guide and mentor.
They are trekking more than 200 miles (322 kilometers) across Antarctica, in temperatures as low as -35 degrees Celsius (-31 Fahrenheit), to raise money for the charity Walking With The Wounded.
The three teams left London for Cape Town on Sunday, and had been due to fly to Antarctica’s Novolazarevskaya (Novo) Station on Tuesday, but a polar storm has kept them grounded.
Hunter-Dunn said their actual departure date would not be confirmed until the weather had cleared. Once the teams arrive at Novo Station, they’ll have three days of acclimatization before setting off on the trek, which is expected to take about 16 days.
The teams will be pulling pulks — or snow sleds — containing all their food and equipment, which will weigh about 70 kilograms (154 pounds) at the start of the trip, Hunter-Dunn said.
The teams will remain in Cape Town until the weather improves, a royal representative said.
Once the teams reach Antarctica, the racers will spend a few days adjusting to the climate. The race is tentatively scheduled to begin on Nov. 30, and race organizers are anticipating the winner may reach the South Pole by Dec. 16. So, the winning team is expected to cross the finish line in time to have Christmas back home.
The race participants have undergone extensive training in preparation for their South Pole expedition. The teammates completed cold-weather training in Iceland in March, team training throughout the summer, and recently finished a final round of snow preparation in October.
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