Extreme Logistics

Crossing the Ice

January 5, 2012
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The Low-Down:  
South Pole Mountains

Throughout the history of the world, no one has ever successfully walked from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back without any assistance.

However, since this past November, two young Australian adventurers have been attempting to do just that—all within a three-month time span. 

James Castrission, better known as Cas, and Justin Jones, nicknamed Jonesy, have set out on the adventure of a lifetime to not only rewrite history books, but also defeat a disease that has ended millions of lives.

By raising funds for Sony Foundation’s You Can, a campaign focused on minimizing teenage cancer diagnoses and deaths in Australia, the pair will use their passion for adventure to further a cause that is far more significant than any historical expedition.

“In doing this expedition we are [determined] to help create a better future for young Australians with cancer,” states Castrission via his blog, casandjonesy.com.au. 

To successfully complete their journey and acquire $15 million for the development of Australian-based cancer facilities, Cas and Jonesy will need to overcome countless challenges, including weather conditions.

While enduring regular temperatures of -50° F or less, Cas and Jonesy will also have to ski approximately 2,220 km and sled-haul gear, food, and other materials that weigh more than 200 kg each.

As if such pressing concerns were not enough, before the journey even began, the team had another challenge that was impossible to ignore—logistics.

How could the pair possibly transport over 400 kg of cargo from Sydney, Australia, to the Antarctic Shelf? Fortunately, through the logistical services of two organizations—Travelscene American Express and LAN Airlines—Cas and Jonesy received the support they needed to ensure their journey had a successful beginning.

Travelscene American Express arranged the adventurers’ flight from Australia to Buenos Aires with assistance from LAN Airlines, which is based in Santiago, Chile. Once Cas and Jonesy—along with their 400 kg of luggage—landed in South America, they were able to board a Russian cargo plane known as the Ilyushin 76.

The plane flew the pair from Buenos Aires to Union Glacier, Antarctica. Upon arriving in Antarctica, Cas and Jonesy boarded a Twin Otter and flew to the edge of the Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf, where their expedition began.

“Getting ready for a record-breaking polar expedition has so many levels of planning involved,” says Castrission during an interview with Travelscene American Express. “Knowing [the transport] of 400 kg [of cargo] to South America was taken care of made [a] world of difference.”  wt


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