26/03/2012

Sensational Antarctica world record - exclusive interview of Belgian polar explorers Dixie Dansercoer & Sam Deltour!

Fabulous...they made itttt! - Tout simplement sensationnel...ils ont réussi! -  Buitengewoon sensationeel...ze zijn geslaagd!  

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Nederlands 

Enkele weken geleden, hebben onze twee poolreizigers Dixie Dansercoer (rechts) en Sam Deltour (links) het wereldrecord gebroken van de langste niet- bevoorrade en niet-gemotoriseerde expeditie op Antarctica. Ze hadden ons reeds voor hun vertrek een exclusief interview bezorgd (dit kan u door hierop te klikken herlezen >>) met een beschrijving over hun voorbereidingen en emoties en hoe deze condities van extreme koude te trotseren.  

Vandaag heb ik hen terug ontmoet voor een nieuw interview dat jullie hieronder kunnen terugvinden zodat wij beter zouden begrijpen wat er achter de schermen van dit ongelofelijk geslaagd avontuur heeft afgespeeld. Zo kunnen we ook besluiten dat de uitdrukking ‘de aanhouder wint’ aan de basis ligt om van onze dromen werkelijkheid te maken. Gefeliciteerd Dixie en Sam! 

Français

Il y a quelques semaines, nos deux explorateurs polaires belges Dixie Dansercoer (à droite) et Sam Deltour (à gauche) ont battu le record du monde de la plus longue expédition en Antarctique sans approvisionnement et sans assistance motorisée. Ils nous livraient déjà avant leur départ dans une interview exclusive (que vous pouvez relire en cliquant ici >>)  les préparatifs et leurs ressentis pour affronter les conditions froides de l'extrême.

Aujourd'hui, je suis allé à leur rencontre pour une nouvelle interview que vous trouverez ci-dessous afin nous puissions mieux comprendre les coulisses de cette incroyable aventure réussie et conclure d'emblé que "la persévérance est le maître mot pour accomplir ses rêves". Félicitations Dixe et Sam!

English

A few weeks ago, both Belgian polar explorers Dixie Dansercoer (right) and Sam Deltour (left) have broken the world record for the longest unassisted and non-motorized expedition in Antarctica. We had already the privilege to interview them before they departure (read here >>) to understand how one needs to be prepared to achieve such expedition in harsh, cold & extreme conditions. 

Today, I wanted to interview them again (here below) for us to better understand the up & downs of such an incredible polar adventure. Above all, let me please already point out the lesson learned of their success: "perseverence is certainly the key word to achieve your dreams”. Congratulations Dixie and Sam!  

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- What a sensational achievement guys, a world polar première...what are the key mental & physical factors to reach such impressive goal in so harsh, so cold, so windy & extreme polar conditions ?  

Dixie=> Clearly, achieving such grand goals can only be accomplished with impeccable preparation, thorough equipment adaptation, a solid dose of desire to reach so-called unreachable goals and a great love for the polar regions.  

Sam=> I totally agree with Dixie. You have to put your whole heart and mind into it, in that order.  

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- Lots of people are wondering how Polar explorers are handling  in such freezing conditions => the accumulation of fatigue after daily skiing, tracking your material, loosing calories, being expose to 24/7 sun... ?

Dixie=> The cold should be your third expedition partner.  Accepting it like a handicap that limits you in your doings is an important first step to this kind of acceptance.  Clearly, you need to know the tricks to combat the cold and that only comes with experience:  one must eat, drink regularly, enjoy enough sleep, know how to dress in specific weather conditions, rely on a well-trained body that is in optimal shape, know the dangers and the red line of low temperatures and strong winds, ...   

Sam=> You just have to do it, and you have to do it right. Don’t whine, don’t complain, laugh at your own misery from time to time and focus on the good things! I know that’s not always easy!  

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- How does it work if you need suddenly to go to the toilet when it can be -20 °C & wearing all your Gore-tex gear? 

Dixie=>  That is a classic question Sourire  FAST is the word!  And it is the worst moment of the day when you come from the relative warmth of the tent.  Again, experience helps:  execute studied gestures, not wasting ANY time to prevent any kind of frostbite and a healthy diet helps you keep a strict routine of going to the toilet so that you can rely to nature’s call to happen at the same moment every day.  Having to ‘go’ in the middle of the day is not something you’ll enjoy because the impact of the cold is much greater and you cannot run back to a tent to ‘re-organize’ things!  

Sam=> Haha, I agree with Dixie!! Fast is the magic word, faster is even better Sourire. You know what, that’s probably the thing I hated the most. If it gets down to -45 and there is a nice wind blowing outside you better be really fast. Having diarrhea in such conditions is something nobody should experience.  

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- Do you have time to wash your body, to clean your socks, clothes...do you use ice you boil then in your tent?

Dixie=> Unfortunately washing can only happen once or twice in those 100 days when there is no wind, when the sun is shining happily and only with temperatures warmer than – 20°C which did not happen at all during our expedition. Our average temperature over the 100 days was minus 31°C...  

Sam=> Yep… that’s it… what can I say, things start to smell. Although it must be said that the cold dulls all bad smells. Also, after a while you just get used to it I suppose. But I was a little worried for my washing machine when it had to deal with my expedition clothing. All windows and doors were wide open while we were taking care of that.  

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- Is the distance with your beloved family and friends something which can at a certain point have a sudden negative effect on your daily performance ?    

Dixie=> No, on the contrary.  Having contact with our headquarters and occasionally with friends and family gave us a big boost.  

Sam=>Yep, I wholeheartedly agree!!! It is always special when you get to hear the people you’ve been thinking about all day long. I never really missed those at home in a negative way, rather on the contrary. Being out there I realized how much they meant to me and how much I appreciate and love them. 

Sam, for you this Antarctica expedition is a première... what was the most difficult daily thing to overcome during your expedition ? The presence & proven expertise of Dixie Dansercoer was certainly a “booster” for you... in which way?  

The presence of Dixie was a huge booster for me to say the least. Dixie is a very nice person to live with. There was a lot of time for laughter and good talks. Also, I learned so much from just watching Dixie. His calm, trust, positive attitude and general good-natured behavior were a real privilege to experience.

The most difficult thing to overcome during the expedition was dealing with the inevitable aches and pains. My knee and ankle were giving me a really hard time. Ah, and also, as I said, going to the toilet!  

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Dixie=> No, as we had very low temperatures and ‘normal’ temperature conditions, I could not say that global warming is manifesting itself to a degree where I would be noticing it.  Where I must believe the trends of global warming involving more and higher winds, that I can confirm.  Especially the enormous amounts of sastrugi (deformation of the ice surface due to high winds) are proof of that.  

Sam=> Yep, totally true. If you look at the written accounts of previous expeditions nobody mentioned the kind and the amount of sastrugi we encountered over there. It could possibly be explained by warmer temperatures at the coast and the colder temperatures on the plateau. This is proven and caused by global warming and the hole in the ozone layer. This greater temperature-difference would create stronger katabatic winds and thus more sastrugi. Something for the scientists to figure out…

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- What was the most beautiful souvenir you had during this long adventure ?  

Dixie=> Having a good laugh with Sam, resulting in tears and stomach cramps!  

Sam=> The great moments of true team-spirit out there! 

- During these 4 months, you had also the possibility to dream of new Polar projects...Dixie, this wasn’t your last “polar record”...any new goals you plan to achieve next year ? Sam, do you see yourself in the coming years as being the Belgian “successor” of Dixie & having the desire to conquer new Polar lands by yourself...what are your wishes in the field of polar activities ? 

Dixie=> I will concentrate on guiding trips to the North Pole and ski-touring in combination with ski-kiting in Antarctica so that I can share my extensive experiences.  Still too young to let go of my ambitions, but keeping these silent for a while...   

Sam=> Good question but I am afraid it will be up to the future to answer it. We’ll see. I definitely really liked being out there and probably there’s still some stuff left to do in the polar regions. Time will tell. 

Wij nodigen jullie allemaal uit jullie boodschappen hieronder neer te schrijven om Dixie en Sam te feliciteren met deze ongelofelijk geslaagde Pooluitdaging.

Nous vous invitons tous à écrire ci-dessous vos messages pour féliciter Dixie et Sam de la réussite de cet incroyable défi polaire.  

We invite you all to write here below your messages to congratulate Dixie & Sam with the success of their incredible polar challenge.  

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You wish to know more about Dixie Dansercoer, I invite you to surf on his polar website www.polarcircles.com and if you wish to participate with Dixie himself to a guiding trip to the North pole or even a ski-touring in combination with a kite-touring in Antarctica...it's really possible...just click here for more info...you will "love" the man and certainly learn from him many polar tips & tricks....enjoyyyyyyyy your new project with Mr Dixie!  

Commentaires

Un ami me disait "Pat, j'ai si froid today...j'ai pas envie de sortir...il fait à peine 8 °C dehors!" Combien sommes-nous a rester chez soi quand il fait un tantinet froid ? Rapellons-nous quand nous sortons juste 1 heure faire les courses/se ballader en plein hiver par juste moins 5°C avec un vent sec et piquant ? Et ce n'est pourtant qu'une heure :-) avec après la chance de se retrouver chez soi avec du 20°C avec une bonne boisson chaude et sa fêmme/mari à nous réchauffer....:-)
Alors, maintenant imaginons-nous seulement 4 heures dans de telles conditions hivernales à - 5°C...et si je vous disait eh ben, maintenant vous partez vivre 3 mois sous tente avec un ami au coeur de l'Antarctique par des moins 30 °C :-)
Bon, ce que nos 2 explorateurs belges ont fait est tout simplement exceptionnel...car ici, on parle de moyenne/jour de -31°C avec des pointes de moins 45°C et ce pendant 3 mois consécutifs...dans des conditions d'hygiène si difficile (moins que l'on puisse dire)...loin de tout...avec ce rythme sportif exemplaire de dépalcements au jour le jour... des blessures...le froid, le froid et le froid toujours omniprésent...whaouhhh, alors, qu'en pensez-vous, ça vous tente...:-) vous trouvez cela easyyy :-)
Moi, je dis: respect et mille fois bravo Dixie et Sam...!

Écrit par : pat Ice | 03/04/2012

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