If you’ve ever dreamed of taking a selfie at the Antarctic Pole of Inaccessibility, you’ll know it’s a big dream. It is far more remote and difficult to reach than the geographic South Pole, because it is the point on the Antarctic continent that is the most distant from the Southern Ocean. A Russian team put a building there in the 1960s, marked by a bust of Vladimir Lenin, which faces Moscow, that is now protected as an historical site. Inside the building, there is apparently a golden visitors’ book.
Byron’s Brookfarm is supporting Australian Antarctic explorer Dr Geoff Wilson, who has already been to the Antarctic Pole of Inaccessibilty, and is now close to the halfway mark of his mammoth 5,500km solo and unsupported trip across Antarctica. He is making this journey across some of the world’s most unforgiving terrain using a kite and sleds, and eating Polar Granola, a calorie-dense food made especially for him by Brookfarm.
The dangers of being alone are obvious. On 12 December his left ski binding ‘ejected his boot at speed’, he writes on his blog at thelongestjourney.com.au/.
‘To an onlooker it would have looked like I’d been shot. Ski gone, boot digs into snow ridge, I cartwheel headfirst into ice, then get skull dragged 30 metres like a corpse until I can get kite under control. I had to disconnect the sled, eject my other ski then crab-walk with the kite back to my wayward ski and restart.’ He wrote.
The Currumbin vet had long been a fan of Brookfarm products to fuel his training. The products grew out of the experiences of Pam Brook’s father Mick Hull, who walked Mount Bogong hundreds of times, the last time in his 80s, and needed an energy rich food to fuel him. But whilst Brookfarm has always been nutrient dense, Pam Brook said this was certainly the first time that anyone has asked for more calories in a product. To create the Polar Granola they used naturally occurring oils and good fats, such as those in macadamia nuts, coconut, and nutrient rich seeds, she said.
‘It was important to build calories and create delicious flavours. We designed a breakfast high in fats, but not overly sweet, to slow and sustain the energy release and keep Geoff powering all morning. We have chopped the ingredients into small pieces so they don’t break teeth when they freeze at forty degrees below zero, and we’ve vacuum sealed the bags to reduce the bulk of the load as much as possible. In this type of journey every centimetre, and every milligram counts’, said Pam.
Fuelled by Brookfarm’s Polar Granola and Polar Porridge, both featuring 2,670kJ per 100g and 2,800kJ per 100g respectively, Dr Wilson reached the Pole of Inaccessibility in only 23 days.
‘I dropped the kite, fell to my knees and gave thanks that I’d made it,’ reflected Dr Wilson at the time.
‘I would say the past 1665km was the most brutal journey I’ve undertaken to date. The cold, the isolation, the relentless sastrugi and continual difficult wind angles have made me earn every painstaking metre of progress.’
‘I have pushed hard with no break for 23 days. I knew for the expedition to be a success, I needed a strong first leg. Despite tough conditions, 23 days is a ridiculous time to make it to the very heart of the ice continent.’
You can follow Dr Geoff Wilson’s epic adventure on Instagram at @drgeoffwilson – or visit his website thelongestjourney.com.au/