Hercules Inlet

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Hercules Inlet is a large, narrow, ice-filled inlet which forms a part of the southwestern margin of the Ronne Ice Shelf. It is bounded on the west by the southeastern flank of the Heritage Range, and on the north by Skytrain Ice Rise. The inlet was named by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names for the LC-130 Hercules aircraft used by the U.S. Naval Support Force, Antarctica, as a photographic and load carrying plane.[1]

Hercules Inlet is one of the common starting points for long distance expeditions to the South Pole,[2] taking anywhere from 25 to 81 days.[3]

The first expedition from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole took place in 1998, led by Martyn Williams. This 50-day expedition opened up the doorway for South Pole overland journeys, and has become the classic route for most expeditions.[4]

The slopes south of the inlet area are covered in crevasse fields, making travel through them treacherous without prior knowledge of their whereabouts. The Wilson Nunataks can be seen from the inlet as well.

On November 1, 2012 at 1600 UTM, the wind was 35 knots and the air temperature was −20° Celsius.[5]


  1. ^ "Hercules Inlet". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ http://www.adventure-network.com/experiences/ski-south-pole%E2%80%94hercules
  3. ^ https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aq1m1QUPlZpRdEczWW1Tc3Y4cUYwSlp2b3kxcTlzeEE#gid=0
  4. ^ First NGA ski trip to Pole from Hercules Inlet: [1]. Accessed April 4, 2015.
  5. ^ Linsdau, Aaron (2014). Antarctic Tears (1 ed.). Sastrugi Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0996020602.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey document "Hercules Inlet" (content from the Geographic Names Information System). Coordinates: 80°5′S 78°30′W / 80.083°S 78.500°W / -80.083; -78.500