Mike has company at 88°42.436' S 82°37.137' W!
At 8 am Chilean time, in favourable weather conditions, explorer and friend, Borge Ousland and two young explorers, Clèmence Cadario and Nicolas Valdivieso, stepped off the plane and were greeted by an elated Mike.
It had been 41 days since Mike left the Antarctic coastline and since he had seen or spoken to other people. He was thrilled to have company again! For Clèmence and Nicolas also, this was an unbelievable moment that will rest in their memories for the rest of their lives.
After the first Pangaea selection camp in Château-d'Oex, Switzerland, these two YEP candidates were chosen to accompany Mike on the last degree of his trek to the South Pole and it was decided that they would be accompanied by only the best of the best! Borge Ousland, undoubtedly the most experienced of any other polar explorer, and Mike Horn, with his wealth of exploration experience, will accompany these two youths, share their knowledge and experience, and will ensure that Clèmence and Nicolas will arrive saftely to the Pole.
With temperatures of -28°C the team decided not to stop for long. They quickly started walking to reheat their bodies and to acclimatise to the Antarctic conditions. It was about 3 hous later that they set up camp and celebrated their meeting in true Swiss style, with a typical fondue from the Swiss region of L'Etivaz and Chilean wine. Afterwards Clèmence and Nicolas familiarised themselves to their four man tent and Antarctic environment as Mike and Borge discussed their stategy for the next few days.
With 144kms to walk until they reach the Pole they will take it easy initially and will try and advance more and more each day. Today, being their first real day on the ice they will try and advance somewhere between 10-15 kms. Mike estimates they will arrive at the Pole in about 9 days time.
After a hearty breakfast the team will set off. Weather conditions today are favourable with sun, no wind and temperatures of around -28°C. Clèmence and Nicolas are both pulling sleds, laden with 12 days food and other odd and ends, so the going will not be easy. It will imply huge adjustment on their behalf
with a lot of stamina and motivation. They have been well prepared for the task that lies ahead of them. They are also both ready to face the challenge and are excited to live this amazing experience.
We'll be following Clèmence and Nicolas's progress closely as they approach the Pole and send them lots of encouragement from the Mike Horn team back in Switzerland!