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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Journey to the formidable Antarctica plateau

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Indian Expedition to South Pole 

One hundred years ago, on December 14 1911 a Norwegian explorer Amundsen and his team achieved a historical feat by becoming the first humans to set foot on the formidable South Pole. After about a month Robert Scott the famous British explorer also made it to the dreaded Pole, after having failed in his earlier attempts from 1901 to 1909. But tragedy struck Scott and his four companions during their return journey. They perished after getting trapped in a fearsome blizzard. This typical Antarctica phenomenon strikes without warning and is so blinding that even objects at a distance of three feet become invisible. Unlike any other storm, a severe blizzard may last for a week at a time with winds blasting at over 100 miles per hour. Antarctica is the coldest, highest, windiest, driest and iciest continent on earth. South Pole is a table top at a height of 2500 M on this icy continent of Antarctica. The continent remains dark, without sunlight for almost six months from March onwards and the lowest recorded temperature on South Pole is – 82.8 deg C. With absolutely no vegetation and life in addition to such a severe climatic condition make South Pole the most difficult land mass on earth for even the bravest humans to dare. Amundsen journeyed through Axel Heiberg Glacier to reach the polar plateau and ultimately to the South Pole. They used skis and sledge dogs to accomplish their feat. Scott, on the other hand used motorized sledge.
November 2010, to celebrate the hundredth anniversary year of the polar conquest, seven young army men led by veteran mountaineer Col.Swarup set out to put India on South Pole. The unique feat in this expedition was that the team covered over thousand kilometer of the treacherous icy landmass by manually pulling their sledges, without taking help of sledge dogs or using motorized sledge.  Perhaps this brave achievement would have gone into oblivion if it did not get covered by media. Almost a month after the team’s return to India, their heroic travails on a treacherous landmass was vividly recounted in ‘The Journey to the End of the world’ authored by Rudraneil Sengupta and published in the Mint of March 18 2011. One month later another interesting article entitled ‘Our polestars' authored by Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former Governor of West Bengal and a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi appeared in the Hindustan Times of April 24 2011 .The links to both these articles are provided here for all those who are fond of travel and adventure.


 
satellite view of the icy continent Antarctica
Antarctica
 Penguins at the coastline of Antarctica
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  

 
found it very interesting
biswajit sengupta saw two of these very interesting stories on south pole and thought you might be interested to view :

Journey to the end of the world
By Rudraneil Sengupta

An Indian Army team recently became the first group from the country to complete a 1,170km ski-trek to the South Pole. Here's what it was like

Click here to view full story

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Our pole stars
By Gopalkrishna Gandhi

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