Summary of expeditions to Antarctica » Explorersweb


Our final Antarctica update of the season covers Masatatsu Abe’s abortive expedition and Erik Bertrand’s solo ski expedition from Berkner Island to the South Pole.

Masatatsu Abe

After a few days stuck in his tent, the weather improved enough for Abe to reach a safe pick-up point. ALE transported him to the camp and his support team report that he is in “good physical and mental health”.

In the end, Abe moved too slowly to make the pole. Soft snow and poor visibility hampered him and he eventually stopped in the Transantarctic Mountains.

Abe will now return to Japan via Chile.


An expedition that went unnoticed this year, Erik Bertrand left Berkner Island alone on November 17. On January 15, he completed his 60-day journey to the South Pole.

Bertrand reported soft snow and warm temperatures over Berkner but made good progress to about 86° south. Here he encountered bad weather, with frequent whiteouts and snowfall. The slower pace, combined with maybe a little, er, light rations, meant Bertrand had one last nervous race for the pole. He ended up with no food to spare and lost 28 kg!

A much lighter Erik Bertrand at the South Pole. Photo: Erik Bertrand

About the Author

Martin Walch

Martin Walch

Martin Walsh is a freelance writer and wildlife photographer based in Da Lat, Vietnam.

A graduate in history from the University of Nottingham, Martin’s career looks like a smörgåsbord. A largely unsuccessful basketball coach in Zimbabwe and the Indian Himalayas, a reluctant business lobbyist in London, and an interior design project manager in Saigon.

He had the chance to see part of the world. Highlights include tracking tigers on foot in Nepal, white-water rafting on the Nile, cycling from London to Istanbul, face-feeding wild hyenas in Ethiopia, and accidentally interviewing Hezbollah in Lebanon. .

His areas of expertise include adventure travel, backpacking, wildlife and half-forgotten indie rock bands of the early 2000s.


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