Antarctic Tears: Determination, adversity, and the pursuit of a dream at the bottom of the world
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Emotions run high in this true polar adventure. It's a story of triumph, harrowing danger, and outright adventure. In 2012, Aaron Linsdau left his entire life behind.
Gone was the engineering career. He told his family and girlfriend that he wanted to pursue a dream to do something no other American had ever accomplished. He wanted to be the first to ski from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back without aid or support. Alone.
The journey to the South Pole covers over 700 miles through the most forbidding frozen terrain on the planet. The temperature is always below zero and gale force winds routinely roar across the ice. The polar plateau is devoid of life. There are no plants, animals, or insects. Antarctica provides no shelter, no protection, and is unforgiving of any mistake.
But before the expedition was to start, there was much to do. Linsdau trekked 100 miles across the Greenland tundra. He skied across Yellowstone in the winter, camping in -45 degree temperatures. Towing tires up mountains and eating 4000 calories a day was preparation for Antarctica.
Previous expeditions have lost tents, helplessly watching them blow over the horizon. Many explorers have quit or been rescued. What began as a brave adventure into the unknown turned into a battle for survival.
Linsdau takes the reader to Antarctica. They experience incredible storms, skiing blind through whiteouts, crossing invisible crevasses, and skirting disaster. The book shows what happened every day of the expedition.
The air is cold enough to freeze water in seconds and cause frostbite in minutes. Only outer space is less hospitable. Driven by passion, he sacrifices nearly everything to make his dream come true. This is a story about personal discovery, testing the limits of human endurance, total dedication to achieving a goal, and never giving up even when both body and equipment fail.
There were many surprises during Aaron Linsdau's expedition to the South Pole...
Linsdau speaks about this extraordinary experience to audiences world-wide.
bother me, as I knew that at dawn, I would have a much easier time. That was, until I started walking in even deeper fresh snow. Once I put on my snowshoes, I continued the climb undiscouraged. Well into the morning, I forged on with dogged determination. Even though my snowshoes were doing a decent job and the trail was visible, I still sank ten inches per step. The fresh snow made travel laborious. Near noon, I checked the GPS. I was not even half way up the mountain. For several moments, I
conversations. I had walked across Yellowstone unscathed, conquering my fear, weather, design and technical issues. And the best part: I enjoyed the whole trip. Over the next two years, I refined my gear and approaches to cold weather camping while trekking across Yellowstone two more times. One of the major changes I made was to bolt skis to the sleds. This produced a huge difference in the sled performance and my overall enjoyment of the trip. Now, I could go farther in less time. After the
goggles fogged between the lenses. Again. Even the fancy goggles I purchased specifically for this expedition were not immune to this problem. I switched to glacier glasses, waited for them to fill with ice, then hung them off the end of my face. They protected my eyes from freezing in the wind, but the gap between the glasses and my face meant I could still see a few feet ahead of me. As there was a ground whiteout, there wasn’t much else to do than blindly follow the compass toward the next
there the moon was, happily hovering above the horizon. I took a photo of it, as there were clouds on the horizon. I happened to see it because I was sitting on my sled, facing north, and at the right time of day. After the previous whiteout days with winds whipping snow into the sky, seeing the familiar moon sailing across the sky revived me. The ground whiteout, combined with my flagging energy, resulted in a paltry 4.5 miles of progress. Sitting in my tent, I gawked at the GPS. My shoulders
over or pulled the sleds into the pits beside them. Although shorter traces gave me more control, shortening them inflamed the pain in my hips. It was difficult to balance keeping the pain at bay and still not having the sleds roll out of control every minute. To make the sled traces adjustable, I had tied butterfly hitches into them at one-yard spacing, with a total of five yards of possible trace length. The idea was that when towing on smooth ground, I used the farthest away knot from the