Tuesday, 08 January 2008 00:00

SUCCESS! for Freddy & Co...

Hip, hip hoorah!! WE ARE AT THE SOUTH POLE!!

I am so excited, I can hardly sit still to write this! Yesterday morning we started skiing at 7am and could see the South Pole in the distance ? just a black dot, but we didn?t care ? we were finally within reach of our goal.

The sun shone as we skied the final 20km; Polly and I couldn?t stop grinning, knowing that after 58 days on the ice and 1,140km of skiing, we would soon get the chance to stand at the South Pole.

Nobody wanted to stop for breaks ? we?re all tired of eating the same food ? and too keen to get there.

By 4.00pm we were walking along the runway towards the South Pole Station. Thirty minutes later we could see the international ceremonial flags which surround the South Pole globe.

"You go ahead first, Freddy, you have done the team proud." Clare called from behind. I slowly walked up to the globe, touched it, looked at myself in the glass and then broke into a huge smile. "Wow! We really are here!!" I shouted. Pat, Clare, Shaun and Jon stepped out of their skis and unclipped from their sleds. Together with Polly, we all hugged, cheered and waved the Irish flag. What a proud moment....one I will never forget - I am the first Irish bear to reach the South Pole, Polly the first penguin, Clare the first Irish female and all of us make up the first Irish team!

After taking some photos, we were met by the station master. She took us on a tour of the station where 243 people are currently working. It was so cool to step into the warmth of their canteen where we were treated to hot drinks and fresh cookies!

Our journey is finally over. Thank you to everyone at home who has followed our expedition ? we?ve had a long, tough trip and all your messages have meant a lot to us.

I'm looking forward to getting home now.. See you when we get there!

Freddy & Polly.

Clare O Leary has been helping Freddy write his blogs since he left Ireland. Her enthusiasm and commitment for keeping it updated is a fantastic achievement and may help children get involved and learn about their expedition experience. Great job Clare.

Published in South Pole 2007-08
Monday, 07 January 2008 00:00

We can see it. The excitement is rising.

7th January day 57. only 23 km to go.

We can see it. The excitement is rising.

Today we were all in a contemplative mood as we made our final two days push for the pole. Each of us in silence trotted along towing our sleds.

To me the most amazing part of this journey is the time you get to think, to be with one-self. The pressure of the environment and survival make you forget the problems of modern day life. I get a chance to put my over active mind on a shelf for a while, to look deep inside Pat Falvey and see who I really am. Time to reflect, reassess my goals and objectives in life and act on them.

I love expedition life. It’s just a pity now that I’m getting older that I can’t stay at this level of adventure. But age brings new opportunity, I am looking forward to the new challenges that it is brining.

I’m starting the gray hair adventure club. You have to be over fifty to join. I have so many new adventures I have dreamed and schemed about on this expedition, they will keep me active until I’m eighty.

Mixed emotions deep down about tomorrow. Proud of our achievement in getting this far. Wondering what’s going to happen after we reach the pole.

The last 14 months have been a roller coaster of adventure.

I had the largest ever group cross South Georgia which was the start of the Beyond Endurance adventure.

Shaun Menzies was pick from that to continue on for training and has complete Greenland and now Antarctic.

We have skied 300 km in Norway.

As we couldn’t get sponsorship to cross all Antarctic, we simulated this by doing an unsupported 600km 30 day crossing of Greenland, in horrible conditions, due to global warming. Giving us another Irish first on the Greenland polar ice cap. Fascinating story. 1st Irish team. 1st Irish female, Dr Clare O Leary.

And now the finish of the Beyond Endurance expedition of 58 days 1140 km here in Antarctic.

Tomorrow will start a new chapter in all of our lives.

I’m so looking forward to reaching the South pole.
Published in South Pole 2007-08
6th January day 56


Sunday 6th January, day 56, 47km to go 1,099 km of manhauling done.

We now estimate our arrival at the South Pole will be on Tuesday, that’s all going well and no mishaps. We are excited at the thought of our journey coming to an end. We had another good day, hauling and skiing, the temperature was -22 degrees c with no wind and blue skies.

Its amazing how all the harsh times we have had on this expedition is starting to fade into the recess of our minds as success is on the horizon. Two more days, just two more days. We are finding it hard to believe that what we went through was real and that it was all but just a dream. That is what is amazing about challenges.Already we are wondering, what’s next? But first lets get to the Pole.

All the team are now in good spirits, we have had our down days of battling the hostile environment of Antarctic and wondering, what the hell are we doing here. We are here because we want to be here and complete a historical voyage of discovery for ourselves. To honour our polar heroes. I’ll find it hard to sleep for the next two nights.I still can’t believe its nearly over. The training, the planning, the people we met along the way.

My father once said to me.

Son, your a dreamer, so dream and dream big. But remember it’s in the following of the dream is where the success lay. Achieving your goal is the bonus. Well we have dreamed big and followed them. We all had a great time on the way. Even if we didn’t reach the pole the journey was amazing. But now we will have the bonus for dreaming. We will stand at the south pole.

Thanks dad for those words of wisdom.
Published in South Pole 2007-08
5th January day 55

A heaven in hell…..What a beautiful day..
Camp; Joss Lynam and Jim Leonard.
Saturday,5th January, Day 55, 70km to go, 1,076 km of manhauling done.
S 89.3737, W 082.1581

We are getting so excited; 3 days, yes just 3 days to go to the pole.

Antarctic is being kind to us for a change and the weather is holding good. Lets hope that it stays that way for the next few days. It would really be nice to finish our journey holding in mind the beauty of this place. We really don’t mind the cold once it doesn’t go above -30 degrees and its still air temperature. It’s the wind and the white out conditions that drive us crazy.

A heaven in hell.

It’s hard to describe what this place is like in words as I write from my tent, exhausted from the labour of my efforts just to get another day closer to the south pole. it is like no where else on this planet.You feel like you have come to a place that looks like heaven (white, pure, majestic and you feel you might even meet a few angles!) and then just to shock you into reality the real Antarctic shows its face. Your are battling sub-zero temperatures, storm force winds, white outs and then you wonder why. Why are I here, when you could be at home in front of a fire and watch a documentary about the place you are fighting to survive in. Then you get a day like today, beautiful, heaven like, no angles and you have survived the traumas of 55 days in a place very few people will ever see or visit. For a small period in the history of our planet you will have experienced personally what its like to be in Antarctic and try and make a dream a reality. I can’t wait to get home to put my new lecture series together and bring to life our experiences. I know its the way I relive these amazing experiences, about how we honour our Irish Polar explorers. Shackleton, the boss and those un-sung heroes Crean, Keohane, Forde and the McCarthy brothers

I’m so excited as I go to sleep tonight, we have experienced the land of ice in all her moods and now she’s been kind to us. I have shocked myself, that what my critics have said would be impossible, is about to become a reality. Our beyond endurance team are within days of achieving our goals.

Tomorrow brings us another day closer to the pole. But we can’t take anything for granted, we are not there yet. Closing another day here in the freezer. Good night.

Camp; Joss Lynam and Jim Leonard – Two people I hold in high esteem.

Joss Lynam, has been at the forefront of Irish mountaineering since it begun. He is the father of Irish mountaineering, he has encouraged many to follow there dreams. He has followed his own dreams with conviction and passion.

Jim Leonard, A friend, an adviser and once again one of those that has been involved in Irish mountaineering since the start. Thanks Jim for your help and advice on many issues over the years..

I’m now in my fifties and I hope as I get older, I aspire to have there drive and enthusiasm for adventure. Life begins, when your ready to live it. So live it. Life is not a rehearsal. It’s a performance. Age has no bounds. We just dream different dreams.

To the future, no matter what age we are.
Published in South Pole 2007-08
Friday, 04 January 2008 00:00

Day 54 - Energy low, enthusiasm is high..

Energy low, enthusiasm is high..


Friday,4th January, day 54, 95km to go 1,052 km of manhauling done.

Camp; Falvey Family

It's really been a hard day today, we are wasted from our 54 days of walking, skiing, pulling and at times crawling at a snails pace. Our energy is low, but our enthusiasm is high. From here on in for the next 96 km we will be pushing forward on adrenaline and our want to get to the pole.

2 milestones today.
We have just crossed into 89 degrees south and have come below the 100km mark to go. We are now in the final leg of our challenge. We are hobbling along at a steady pace. Our target is to cover between 23 to 24 km per day regardless of what conditions are thrown at us. We want to arrive at the pole on Tuesday evening all going well.

The ultimate challenge;
This undertaking is one of mans greatest adventures and challenges and is equivalent to running 55 consecutive marathons. I'm very proud of how our small Irish team has performed in going to the edge of their physical abilities. We are not a nation were this type of effort or challenge is normal. But we do have a great connection with Antarctic. Tonight we prepare for another day of pulling and our minds are now focused on getting through the next few days in this harsh but amazing landscape of ice. The terrain has changed to a flatter and more consistent snow conditions.

On top of the effort of pulling we now also have to content with altitude. We are now at a height of 2800 meters and the team are also suffering from headaches and shortness of breath. Let tomorrow roll on and pray it brings us a little closer to our goal.

Good night, its cold here as I wish you an enjoyable Friday night back in Ireland.

Camp; Falvey Family.

I'd like to dedicate this camp to those who love me and have stood by me, both in the good and bad times.

To my sons Brian and Patrick. To Marie who have rared them in my absence. I have always tried to be the best father a man can be, but I have had my failings. Also to Lydia, Patricks partner who have become part of our family. To mum and dad, who have mentored me to be the type of person I am. To my brothers and sisters.

I dedicate this campsite to my family with love.
Published in South Pole 2007-08
Friday, 28 December 2007 00:00

Day 47 - cant wait for our rest day...

Day 47 28 December

Position: S87.9184, W080.83335
Temperature: -15.8c wind chill -20c
Weather: White out, no contrast, also light snow.

Camp: Portal Partnership

We are exhausted from pulling, hauling and being in the most hostile environment in the world. We are now 46 days on the ice and have been very misfortunate with the weather.

The most frustrating for us is the whiteouts and no contrast, it makes our life very hard.

When your on expeditions you have to be prepared for all types of conditions. We could do with a bit of good luck and a change to good clear days. Lets hope we’ll get a few over the next two weeks as we approach the pole. It would make such a difference to our mood.

We are now approaching 88 degrees south and will be at the same latitude Shackleton’s reach over the next week. This will be another big milestone for our expedition.

The weather for tomorrow again doesn’t look great. We are going to have a rest day. We can’t wait to relax for a day.

Camp: Portal Partnership (for Jonathon)

Thanks to all the staff (one of Europe’s Premier IBM Business Partners), your support has been instrumental in getting me to Antarctica and is much appreciated, see you all soon.

Published in South Pole 2007-08
Monday, 31 December 2007 00:00

Happy new year from the ice. Camp Moriarty

31 December Happy new year from the ice.

S88.3328 W 081.2294

Camp: Con Morairty

We are now within 188 km of the South Pole and have hit 2 milestones in the last 2 days.

Yesterday We have crossed 88 degrees and today we have come below 200 km to the Pole.

Tomorrow is also a special day as we move beyond 98 n/miles to the pole and it was within striking distance of the Pole, Shackleton turned.

For me this has been a dream of mine for years to go beyond Shackletons furthest south. Tomorrow we honour our hero and we will be naming of camp Shackleton.

The last 2 days have been hard going with sastrugi and soft snow conditions. Shaun has some bad trouble with his feet and is suffering badly at the moment.

The temperature has been very cold – 27 and -25 degrees c.

Oh how I would love to be at home in the Mountain Lodge and sitting by a roaring fire or having a few pints in Kate Karneys Cottage my local. My thoughts of sleeping in a bed, having a hot shower, seeing my friends and family, now fill my thoughts as we make our final run into the pole.

Tomorrow we will be hopefully within 8 days of our target. Still a long way to go and we are so aware that so many things can go wrong yet.

So for now I must get some rest. We are under severe pressure with time in the evening once we reach camp, but I will a[ try and keep you posted on the web of the final days of our experience. Must get some sleep.

Happy new year from Camp Con Moriarty. From all the team.

Camp Con Moriarty; we have been friends now for over 20 years and I have always been blown away by Con’s passion for Mountains, history and Nature. It is while climbing with Con that I developed my passion for adventure. He introduced me to a way of live that has taken me to every part of the world. The highest, coldest, most remote regions of our planet. To my friend and mentor, thank you Con.
Published in South Pole 2007-08
1st January


Camp Shackleton, our hero.

Shackletons 97 miles from the pole. He turned, we continue to fulfill a dream.

New years day was no different then any other, except that today we would be as far as Shackleton got, to within 97 miles of the pole from the east of Antarctic, we would be the same distance from the pole from the west.

Now that we have passed this point, I’m feeling more confident that we will reach the Pole. There were lots of times on this expeditiin that I had my doubts if we would get there.

We had terrible weather, serious injuries and soft snow that has made our journey harder. However there was a verse my mother gave me many years ago that I have written in the tent just above my head that kept me focus on the objectives of the expedition and it reads.

Don’t quit.

When time are tough as they sometimes will and the road you trudging seems all up hill…. Rest if you must, but don’t you quit….

Success is failure turned inside out..it may seem far but be so near. So stick to the fight when your hardest hit. Because it’s when times go tough, that you must not quit.

So, this verse kept me focused on the objectives we have and now we are within 160 km of the pole. Tomorrow we will have skied over a 1000 km from the coast.

So success seems now to be within reach, cross fingers, no more bad weather or serious injuries.

happy new year to all…. Clare, Shaun, Jon and myself…,, As the Shackleton moto goes…. ‘By endurance we conquer’....

Historical information:

On January 9th 1909 after enduring endless days of dehydration, hunger and near hypothermia on the glacier Shackleton and his team of Frank Wild, John Boyd Adams and Eric Marshall established a new ‘furthest south’. (Shackleton would name it the Beardmore Glacier in honour of the Scottish industrialist who had helped finance the Nimrod expedition.)

Standing at only 97 miles from the South Pole the latitude was 88 degrees and 23 minutes- the team had extended Scott’s record by 6 whole degrees of latitude. Most importantly the team had essentially proven that the South Pole lay up on the ice cap that had been discovered by Albert Armitage- Shackleton’s old friend from the discovery days- six years earlier.

More info available on our history page at www.beyondendurance.ie
Published in South Pole 2007-08
Monday, 24 December 2007 00:00

Missing Christmas...

Day 43 24th dec

Missing Christmas…

Position: S87.2227, W084.0260
Temperature: -27c
Weather: good visibility, blue skies and 10 kn wind
Distance; 18km stopped early, Christmas eve. We will do the same tomorrow.

We are all missing home, especially at this time of year. We want to wish all ourr families a happy Christmas, with love and best wishes from the most remote place on earth. Clare, Shaun, Jon and Pat.
Published in South Pole 2007-08
Saturday, 22 December 2007 00:00

Day 41 - Really had a bad/low morale day..

Day 41 - 22nd December

Really had a bad/low morale day…

Position: S86.7014, W085.5313
Temperature: -15cto -18c
Weather: sunshine and visibility.
Distance; 20.2km 7hrs skiing

Today I was in pain all day, I’d ski for a minute or two and then have to go down on my knees to relieve the pain as it was so bad. It would register 7 out of 10 0n the pain scale. I should rest up for a few days, but that now, is not possible. We have to push forward.

Including our catch of food we will have 19 daily food packs left to get to the pole. We estimate that it
Will take us at the rate were going 18 including 1 days rest. So no room for storm days or rest for my back.

I’m not use to being weakened due to injury and up to then felt stronger then I have been on any of my 62 expeditions.

I called a team meeting today to see how everyone was feeling about the extra work load on them and to put all the options on the table for us reaching the pole.

Our plans and logistics so far have changed many times and it is this flexibility that will ensure our success.

We all agreed that we would push through to 88 deees without rest and this means we ski Christmas Day. We were hoping to have a special dinner prepared by Shaun and Jon. But this will now have to wait another few days until we reach within 2 degrees of the pole.

Lets get away from negative thoughts and tell you about today. I feel so privileged to be here, it truly is a fascinating place. I’m just blown away by everything about being our environment and the landscape.

It’s raw beauty, tranquility and of doing an expedition that has been done by less people then have been to space.

I’m tired and in pain so this is it for tonight. I hope tomorrow is better.
Published in South Pole 2007-08
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