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Explorer From Australia Sets Record In Antarctica


OK. A polar explorer has set a record. His name is Geoff Wilson. And we hear his voice next along with a sound that gives a clue to just what that record is.


GEOFF WILSON: Seven-hundred-and-ninety kilometers to go and feeling pretty strong.


INSKEEP: Wind whistling across kite strings. He spent weeks kite skiing in Antarctica.


He clutched onto this kite like a big sail, powering him on skis over the ice. Wilson trained for the expedition on Australia's beaches, actually. Needless to say, Antarctica - just a bit colder.

WILSON: My second day, I was below minus-50 windchill and got frostbite of the left hand. And then I started to get used to the cold and things became a bit easier.

MARTIN: He was at the mercy of the wind, though. He sailed more than 120 miles across the ice. Another day, he had to drag his sleds. He maneuvered around crevices and ice dunes. Through it all, though, he managed to summit the highest point on the Antarctic plateau known as Dome Argus.

INSKEEP: And he set the record for the longest unsupported polar journey, meaning he was carrying everything that he would need. He kept a video journal along the way.

WILSON: The last day, when I got to the mountains...


WILSON: Man, I'm so grotty - haven't showered; same socks, same jocks for 58 days tomorrow.

The day before, I got stuck in a crevassed area, which was very dangerous and potentially could've killed me.

Must be about midnight, and I'm pushing hard. It's a really hard angle. I'm jamming my left foot in absolutely to the max.

The wind turned and became a wind that I could kite on.


And just like that, I'm back at Novo.

MARTIN: Novo's the name of the finish line where he reached this weekend. And we talked to him on Skype. He's gone some 3,300 miles.

WILSON: I've never had a beer for breakfast, but I'm going to crack one this morning. Cheers. Cheers to Australia.

INSKEEP: Beer for breakfast. And Mr. Wilson says the next thing on his to-do list is going to be to take his wife on a date. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.