GoKunming is republishing the travel reports of Kunming resident Jin Feibao (金飞豹) as he treks with an international expedition to the South Pole. Jin has been making daily phone reports to Kunming which have been translated into English by Frank Gua. In this final post of his journey, Jin reaches the South Pole's Scott Station.
January 19: Arrival at the South Pole
"Today we trekked nearly non-stop for 13 hours, covered 21.9 km, reached the South Pole at 10:15 pm [Jan 18 local time; 8:15 am on Friday, Jan 19, Beijing time]. We also experienced the coldest temperature of our expedition: 50C below zero, or -60F.
"According to [tour guide] David's plan, we should reach the South Pole tomorrow, not today, but when we trekked to a place where only 15 km from the South Pole, we saw a small black spot on the horizon. David told us it was Scott Station.
We were all very excited, we finally could see our destination. All of us decided at the spot that we should not stop, we should continue going until we reach the South Pole. But David knew that I was suffering from neck pain, so he decided to let me make the final decision whether to go or stop. I looked at the black spot on the horizon, and said without any hesitation: 'Let's go!'
"So, after 13 hours of trekking and skiing in an extremely cold environment, we successfully reached the South Pole, one day ahead of our schedule.
"When walked into the Scott Station, it was already night time, although the sun was still hanging in the sky. We saw many countries' national flags hanging outside a huge building. A receptionist took us to a restaurant to have dinner. We had hot coffee, hot milk, and some fresh cakes. It was all free. Each one of us was very happy and excited.
"Then, the receptionist guided us on a short tour of the station. My god, the station is much, much bigger than we thought. It looks like a city of science, like the futuristic scenery we have seen in Hollywood movies. There is a hospital, fitness center, cinema, restaurants, shops, post office, laboratories, etc and all are equipped with world-class facilities. Some of the buildings are still under construction.
"There are more than 500 people living here long-term, including about 100 top-level scientists, they stay here to research the earth, universe, geography, etc. Most of the working staff is from the US.
"The station didn't provide accommodations to tourists, so we had to set up our tents near the station. We are all very tired now, we are going to sleep. Tomorrow morning, we will do some shopping and take some photographs, then we will fly back to the Patriot Hills camp."
GoKunming would like to congratulate Jin Feibao and his team on reaching the South Pole safely and thank Jin, Gregg Millett and Frank Gua for their help in providing Jin's daily reports.© Copyright 2005-2021 GoKunming.com all rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rewritten or redistributed without permission.