Flemish polar explorers break record
Antarctic explorers Dixie Dansercoer and Sam Deltour have broken the world record for the longest unassisted, non-motorised expedition in Antarctica, after passing the 4,804 kilometre mark set by Rune Gjeldnes in 2005.
“Such an achievement demands enormous amounts of power, motivation and perseverance,” the Flemish pair said in a statement sent back from the polar wastes. “Every day is a battle against the most extreme conditions. In particular the last days have been unusually heavy. We've been navigating between gigantic and rather nasty sastrugi [grooves or ridges] and snow sculptures, some of them three meters high, amid temperatures between -45° and -50°C. We can therefore only express deep respect for anyone who has achieved a similar accomplishment.”
Veteran explorer Dansercoer and Deltour, a Leuven medical student, have been crossing the undiscovered East Antarctic Plateau for more than 70 days, propelled only by kites and equipped with what they can carry on a sled. The two are continuing along a planned route.