Quebec man becomes first person to reach South Pole by kite ski
Dario Balca, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, December 26, 2014 5:05PM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 26, 2014 9:57PM EST
A Quebec man has become the first person to reach the geographic South Pole alone by kite ski.
Frederic Dion arrived at the world’s most southern point on Wednesday on skis, using a kite to pull him in the direction he wanted to go.
“Live the adventure. Try to realize your dreams,” Dion, who works as a motivational speaker in Canada, told CTV Montreal. “Being the first person in the world to get to the centre of Antarctica, that was my dream. I don’t tell everybody to do this, but we all have some dreams and some passions to go with.”
The geographic South Pole is one of two points where the Earth's rotation axis meets the surface of the Earth. The other is the North Pole.
The 37-year-old has travelled more than 3,000 kilometres since leaving the Antarctic coast on Nov. 9.
During the expedition, Dion says he has faced winds of 150 kilometres an hour and temperatures as cold as -50 C. He also has had to deal with a fire that nearly destroyed his tent and a sled that broke apart.
“I really had a moment of panic. Without my sled, I had no tent, no sleeping bag, no stove and no food. I was naked in the middle of Antarctica,” he wrote in his blog, called Dare to Adventure. “But I told myself since I had already survived four days in the cold without food or water in the past, I could survive.”
Last week, Dion reached the most remote part of Antarctica, a place called the South Pole of Inaccessibility.
While that spot is not quite the South Pole, it's considered the most remote and most challenging destination to reach in Antarctica because it's the farthest point from the ocean. From there, Dion travelled another 1,000 kilometres to the geographic South Pole.
Now, Dion is trying to reach Hercules Inlet on the other side of the continent from where he started—another 1,130 kilometres away.
Dion joins a handful of explorers and researches who have reached Earth’s southernmost point. He is trying to beat the 82-day record for crossing Antarctica through its center. Forty-five days into his expedition, Dion is almost three quarters of the way across the continent.
In his 37 years, Dion has travelled thousands of kilometres and tackled some of the world’s toughest environments. Last year, he rescued a group of Russian skiers lost and battling hypothermia in the French Alps.
Dion is a spokesperson for Scouts Canada.
With a report from CTV Montreal.