The Tetley South Pole Mission left Hercules Inlet 2 December 2003 for a 1170 km unsupported journey to the South Pole to help raise funds for the re-housing of the Royal Geographical Society's polar archives. The party consists of British businessman and ex-Foreign legionnaire, Simon Murray, and explorer Pen Hadow.
Murray, at 63 years, is hoping to become the oldest person to have made an unsupported trek to the South Pole, beating the current holder, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who was ten years younger when he successfully crossed Antarctica via the Pole in 1993.
Pen Hadow made the first solo unsupported crossing from the American continent to the North Pole earlier this year.
The Spanish Tierras Polares Antarctica Crossing Expedition plans to cross East Antarctica, passing through the Pole of Inaccessibility, a journey of 5000 km. They will use a newly designed "houseboat" on a catamaran-like sledge that will be pulled by a giant kite. They hope to reach speeds of up to 40 km/h in good conditions.
'COLD FEAT' FORAY
"Cold Feat", a party of four, left Patriot Hills in November on an unsupported crossing to the South Pole.
'ICE AXE' Traverse
A party known as "Ice Axe" will use kites to make a traverse to the Wohlthat Mountains in Queen Maud Land during December. Mike Libecki, Andrew McLean, Kristoffer Erickson and Doug Stoup plan to explore, climb and ski the dramatic landscape, sending daily audio, video and photos via satellite.
Rob Porcaro left Berkner Island in November to attempt to become the first Australian to trek unassisted across the 1300 km to the South Pole to raise awareness of depression.
A group of Israelis and Palestinians have joined forces in the "Breaking-the-ice Expedition" to make a statement for peace in a climbing expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula.
In December 2003 the team of four Israelis and four< sailed across the Drake Passage to Antarctica. They hope to trek to a previously un-climbed mountain the Antarctic Peninsula and name it together.
A Malaysian group of three is planning to ski and sail across Antarctica from Blue One in Dronning Maud Land to Scott Base, a distance of 3800 km. The party will have a resupply at the South Pole.
STANCER & THORNEWILL
Two women, Rose Stancer and Fiona Thornewill, are independently attempting to become the first British female to reach the South Pole unaided and alone. Both women left Hercules Inlet on the Weddell side of the continent at different times in November.
Rosie Stancer was a member of the first British all-woman team to walk to the South Pole with air support during the 1999/2000 season. Fiona Thornewill, along with Catherine Hartley, was one of the first two British women to ski to both poles with air support, and with husband Mike became the first married couple to reach both poles, again with air support.
Both women insist they will not race each other over the 1130 km to the South Pole.