Patagonia Touch Down

Patagonia Touch Down

After long flights from California and Norway, half of the South Pole Energy Challenge team has arrived in Punta Arenas, the capital city of Chile’s southernmost region and a well known base for Antarctic expeditions.


The weather so far has been fantastic, with beautiful sunsets, a full moon and snow covered mountains on the distant horizon. The history of this place includes years of maritime traffic set around vicious Southern Oceans. In Plaza del Armas, the main town square, the great explorer Ferdinand Magellan is with a memorial statue. Barney and Kyle, the expedition videographer, made sure to touch his foot, as superstition says this assures a safe journey and return from Antarctica.

The team will use the days in Punta Arenas to get organized before hauling 600 miles to the south pole. All the gear is being organized in a large storage unit. Spread out on a tarp is mountains of gear, heavy down jackets and technology that looks like something from an Sci-fi movie.  Among the equipment are solar panels, ice-melters and biofuels.

The next days will be hectic and full of expectations of the trip ahead. The technology needs to be tested and checked and calories need to be devoured in order to gain those last kilos before freeze-dried food and butter.

Soon the whole team will be together waiting for a weather window to fly to the Union Glacier.

Written by Marthe Isaksen