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List of Antarctic expeditions

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Terra Australis
Terra Australis is the large continent on the bottom of this 1570 map

This list of Antarctica expeditions is a chronological list of expeditions involving Antarctica. Although the existence of a southern continent had been hypothesized as early as the writings of Ptolemy in the 1st century AD, the South Pole was not reached until 1911.

Pre-exploration theories[edit]

Pre-19th century[edit]

19th century[edit]

Expeditions in Antarctica before the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, 1897

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]

  • 2000–2001– Norwegian Liv Arnesen and the American Ann Bancroft crossed Antarctica on ski-sail from Blue 1 Runaway 13 November reaching after 94 days of expedition McMurdo Station, passing through the South Pole.[19]
  • 2001–2002 – First and longest sea kayak expedition by New Zealanders Graham Charles, Marcus Waters and Mark Jones paddle unsupported from Hope Bay to Adelaide Island in 35 days.
  • 2004 – Scot100 First ever Scottish Expedition to South Pole[20] began in October 2004 – a century after a historic expedition led by William Speirs Bruce, Edinburgh's "unknown" explorer, who Craig Mathieson views as "truly the greatest polar explorer of all time".
  • 2004 – Together to the Pole – a Polish four-man expedition led by Marek Kamiński, with Jan Mela (a teenage double amputee, who in the same year reached also the North Pole)
  • 2004–2005 – Chilean South Pole Expedition.
  • 2004–2005 – Tangra 2004/05 created Camp Academia.
  • 2005 – Ice Challenger Expedition travelled to the South Pole in a six-wheeled vehicle.[21]
  • 2005–2006 – Spanish Trans-Antarctic Expedition, led by Ramon Larramendi, reached the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility using kite-sleds.[22]
  • 2005-2006 – Construction of the South Pole Traverse completed
  • 2006 – Hannah McKeand sets coast-to-pole solo/unsupported record of 39 days, 9 hours and 33 minutes[23]
  • 2006–2007 – Jenny and Ray Jardine 57-day ski trek to South Pole[24]
  • 2007 – Pat Falvey leads an Irish team to reach the South Pole, skiing 1140 km only weeks after completing an unsupported Ski traverse of the Greenland Ice Cap in August 2007 in honour of Irish Polar Explorers such as Ernest Shackleton and Tom Crean. Clare O'Leary becomes the first Irish female to reach the South Pole.
  • 2007-2008 - First African unsupported and unassisted walk to the South Pole. South Africans Alex Harris and Sibusiso Vilane spent 65 days walking from Hercules Inlet.
  • 2007–2008 – Norwegian-U.S. Scientific Traverse of East Antarctica.[25]
  • 2007–2008 – British Army Antarctic Expedition 2007–2008[26]
  • 2007–2008 – Verden Vakreste Skitur. Randi Skaug, Kristin Moe-Krohn and Anne-Mette Nørregaard skied unsupported from Patriot Hills across The Sentinel range to Vinson Massif to climb Mount Vinson[27]
  • 2008 – Todd Carmichael sets coast-to-pole solo/unsupported record of 39 days, 7 hours and 49 minutes[28]
  • 2008 – First Venezuelan Scientific Expedition to Antarctica.
  • 2008–2009 – The Antarctica Challenge – Canada-US International Polar Year documentary film production expedition led by Mark Terry.[29]
  • 2008–2009 – Impossible 2 Possible (i2P) unsupported South Pole quest by Ray Zahab, Kevin Vallely and Richard Weber.[30]
  • 2009 – Azerbaijan Scientific Expedition, Huseyngulu Baghirov and Tarlan Ramazanov became the first Muslims and Turks to reach the South Pole on foot.[31][32]
  • 2009 – Kaspersky Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition, largest and most international group of women to ski to South Pole.
  • 2009 – Second Venezuelan Scientific Expedition to Antarctica.
  • 2009–2010 – Unsupported/Unassisted Antarctica Ski Traverse from Berkner Island to South Pole to Ross Sea by Cecilie Skog and Ryan Waters.
  • 2010 – Moon Regan Transantarctic Crossing, first wheeled transantarctic crossing and first bio-fuelled vehicle to travel to the South Pole.[33]
  • 2010 – Third Venezuelan Scientific Expedition to Antarctica.
  • 2011 – Fourth Venezuelan Scientific Expedition to Antarctica.
  • 2011–2012 – From Novolazarevskaya to Pole of Inaccessibility to South Pole to Hercules inlet by Sebastian Copeland and Eric McNair Landry by kites and skis.[34]
  • 2011–2012 – Scott Amundsen Centenary Race – Henry Worsley and Louis Rudd ski 1,300 km (800 mi) unsupported along the original route of Amundsen from the Bay of Whales up the Axel Heiberg to the SP racing against Mark Langridge, Vic Vicary and Kev Johnson completing Capt Scott's original route.
  • 2011–2012 – British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012[35]
  • 2011–2012 – Expedition by Ramon Hernando de Larramendi, by Inuit WindSled.[36]
  • 2012 – Felicity Aston becomes the first person to ski alone across Antarctica using only personal muscle power, as well as the first woman to cross Antarctica alone.[37][38] Her journey began on 25 November 2011, at the Leverett Glacier, and continued for 59 days and a distance of 1,744 km (1,084 mi).[39]
  • 2012 – Fifth Venezuelan Scientific Expedition to Antarctica.
  • 2012–2013 – Aaron Linsdau becomes the second American to ski solo from the Hercules Inlet to the South Pole. His original plan was to make a round trip but through a series of problems, like all other expeditions this year, was unable to make the return journey.[40]
  • 2012 – Eric Larsen attempts a bicycle ride from coast to South Pole. Completes a quarter of the distance.
  • 2012 – Grant Korgan becomes the first person with a spinal cord injury to literally "push" himself to the geographic South Pole![41][42][43][44][45]
  • 2012–2013 – Shackleton's centenary re-enactment expedition of the journey of the James Caird aboard the replica Alexandra Shackleton. Six British and Australian Explorers completed the "double journey" on 10 February 2013 after the 1,300-kilometre (800 mi) journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia and the mountain crossing.[46]
  • 2013 – Sixth Venezuelan Scientific Expedition to Antarctica.
  • 2013–2014 – Ben Saunders and Tarka L'Herpiniere make the first ever completion of the Terra Nova Expedition first taken by Robert Falcon Scott in January 1912. Their 2,898-kilometre (1,801 mi), 105-day return journey to the South Pole is the longest ever polar journey on foot.[47]
  • 2013 – Parker Liautaud and Douglas Stoup attempt in December 2013 the Willis Resilience Expedition[48] to set a "coast to Pole" speed record[49] by reaching the geographical South Pole on skis in the fastest journey ever recorded from an interior of continent start while being followed by a support vehicle.
  • 2013 – Antony Jinman will walk to the South Pole solo for the 2013 ETE Teachers South Pole Mission, during which he will be in daily contact with schoolchildren from across the United Kingdom and will make films using the world's first drone flights at the South Pole.
  • 2013 – Maria Leijerstam becomes the first person to cycle from the Antarctic coast to South Pole. She also set the human powered speed record in 10 days, 14 hours and 56 minutes.
  • 2013–2014 – Lewis Clarke (aged 16 years and 61 days) guided by Carl Alvey (aged 30) became the youngest person to trek from the Antarctic coast at Hercules Inlet to the South Pole. His expedition was in support of the Prince's Trust and his achievement is recognised by Guinness World Records.
  • 2013–2014 – Married couple Christine (Chris) Fagan and Marty Fagan became the first American married couple (and second married couple in history) to complete a full unguided, unsupported, unassisted ski from the Antarctic coast to the South Pole. They join just over 100 people in history who have traveled to the South Pole in this manner. Their expedition took 48 days. Their achievement is recognized by Guinness World Records.
  • 2013–2014 – Daniel P. Burton completes the first bicycle ride from coast to the South Pole.
  • 2013–2014 – Chris Turney led an expedition, entitled "Spirit of Mawson", aimed at highlighting the decline in sea ice due to climate change. The expedition was abandoned when its Russian ship became stuck in unusually large amounts of sea ice.
  • 2013 – In December 2013 the Expeditions 7 Team led by Scott Brady made a successful east-to-west crossing in four-wheel drive vehicles from Novolazarevskaya to the Ross Ice Shelf via the Scott-Amundsen South Pole Station. Expeditions 7's logistic plan included providing assistance to the Walking With The Wounded expedition, which was required at latitude 88°S. From the Ross Ice Shelf the Expeditions 7 team returned to Novolazarevskaya via the same route.
  • 2014 – Turkish scientist Yakup Çelik became the first citizen representing Türkiye to reach the South Pole.[50]
  • 2015–2016 – Luke Robertson (UK) becomes the first Scot – and the first person with an artificial pacemaker – to ski solo, unsupported (no resupply) and unassisted (no kiting) from the coast of Antarctica (Hercules Inlet) to the South Pole.[51]
  • 2015–2016 – Henry Worsley died while attempting to complete the first solo and unaided crossing of the Antarctic.[52]
  • 2016 – First Homeward Bound expedition, then the largest all-women expedition to Antarctica.[53]
  • 2016–2017 – Malgorzata Wojtaczka – 52 years old Polish, after 69 days completes solo-unaided-unsupported expedition from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole.
  • 2016–2017 – Spear17, a six-man team from the British Army Reserves successfully completed a full traverse of Antarctica. They set off on 16 November from Hercules Inlet, arrived at the South Pole on Christmas Day, and completed a full traverse reaching Ross Ice Shelf on 20 January 2017. The aim of the expedition was to raise the profile of the army reservists, and to honour the memory of fellow explorer Henry Worsley. The team was led by Captain Louis Rudd, MBE[54][55]
  • 2016–2017 – Eric Philips (guide), Keith Tuffley and Rob Smith ski a new route to the South Pole from the Ross Ice Shelf through the Transantarctic Mountains following the Reedy Glacier. The expedition covers 605 km in 33 days setting off 8 December 2017 and arriving 10 January 2017.
  • 2016–2017 – On 7 February Mike Horn completes first ever solo, unsupported north-to-south traverse of Antarctica from the Princess Astrid Coast (lat −70.1015 lon 9.8249) to the Dumont D'urville Station (lat −66.6833 lon 139.9167) via the South Pole. He arrived at the pole on 7 February 2017. A total distance of 5100 km was covered utilizing kites and skis in 57 days.[56]
  • 2016–2017 – Eric Philips (guide), Heath Jamieson (guide), Jade Hameister, Paul Hameister and Ming D'Arcy ski a new route to the South Pole from the Ross Ice Shelf through the Transantarctic Mountains following the Reedy Glacier then Kansas Glacier. The expedition covers 605 km in 33 days, setting off 6 December 2017 and arriving 11 January 2018.
  • 2017–2018 – Astrid Forhold (Norway), supported by Jan Sverre Sivertsen, skies the longest part of the original Roald Amundsen route from Bay of Whales to the South Pole.[citation needed]
  • 2018 – Colin O'Brady (USA) completed an unsupported (no resupplies or supply drops) solo crossing of Antarctica (not including the ice shelves). He started inland at the end of the Ronne Ice Shelf on 3 November 2018, passed through the South Pole and arrived inland at the start of the Ross Ice Shelf on 26 December 2018.[57][58][59] Louis Rudd (UK), who started on the same day as Brady and took a similar route, completed his unsupported solo trek two days later, arriving at Ross Ice Shelf on 28 December 2018[60]
  • 2018–2019 – On 13 January, Matthieu Tordeur (France) becomes the first French and youngest in the world (27 years and 40 days) to ski solo, unsupported (no resupply) and unassisted (no kiting) from the coast of Antarctica (Hercules Inlet) to the South Pole.[61]
  • 2019 – SD 1020, an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) designed by British engineer Richard Jenkins of Saildrone, Inc. in Alameda, CA, completed the first autonomous circumnavigation of Antarctica, sailing 22,000 km (12,000 nmi) through the Southern Ocean in 196 days, from 19 January 2019 to 3 August 2019. The vehicle was deployed and retrieved from Bluff, New Zealand.[62]
  • 2019 – The first human-powered transit (by rowing) across the Drake Passage was accomplished on 25 December 2019, by captain Fiann Paul (Iceland), first mate Colin O'Brady (US), Andrew Towne (US), Cameron Bellamy (South Africa), Jamie Douglas-Hamilton (UK) and John Petersen (US).[63]
  • 2019–2020 – Anja Blacha completes the longest solo, unsupported, unassisted polar expedition by a woman, skiing from Berkner Island to the South Pole[64][65]
  • 2019-2020 Wendy Searle becomes the seventh woman to ski solo unsupported from the Hercules Inlet to the pole [64][66]
  • 2019–2020 – Mollie Hughes skied from Hercules Inlet to the pole, travelling 1,130 km (702 mi).[67]
  • 2021–2022 – Preet Chandi, a British Sikh army officer, became the first woman of colour to reach the south pole unassisted.[68]


See also[edit]


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  • Savatyugin, L. M.; Preobrazhenskaya, M. A. (1999). Российские исследования в Антарктике [Russian Exploration of Antarctica] (in Russian). Saint Petersburg: Gidrometeoizdat, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI), Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring of Russian Federation (Roshydromet). ISBN 5-286-01265-5.
  • "Soviet Antarctic Expedition". Information Bulletin. Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co. 1958–1974. ISSN 0038-5271.
  • 'Extreme South' Struggles & triumph of the first Australian team to the Pole by Ian Brown, Published by Australian Geographic 1999. ISBN 1 86276 031 4.

Further reading[edit]

  • Headland, Robert K. (2009). A Chronology of Antarctic Expeditions. A synopsis of events and activities from the earliest times until the International Polar Years, 2007-09. Bernard Quaritch Ltd. ISBN 978-0955085284
  • Landis, Marilyn J. (2003). Antarctica: Exploring the Extreme: 400 Years of Adventure. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 1-55652-480-3

External links[edit]