A scientist has become the first Chinese man to reach the South Pole on foot from Berkner Island without mechanical power and additional supplies after completing his expedition on Jan. 10 (Beijing time).
The scientist, Wen Xu, started his expedition on Nov. 13 local time from the coast of Berkner Island, carrying his supplies on a sleigh, altogether spending 58 days and covering over 1,400 kilometers. That meant Wen was walking with the sleigh more than 12 hours a day on average.
Even before he entered the Antarctic Plateau, the wind speeds grew to 26 m/s and visibility was zero. The temperature further plummeted to -40°C on the plateau, which meant Wen had to walk on ice and through heavy snow.
“The wind gusts even blew my coat away. I had to make a coat out of my spare sleeping bag. The sleigh gave me many troubles because I was carrying all my supplies on it. I was crying the whole time one day as I walked on. It was hard on both my mind and body,” Wen said.
"My family gave me strength and thanks to them, I finished the expedition," he added.
Wen, also an expert on glaciers, had participated in several glacier research programs. During his expedition, he took records of the plateau and collected samples for further studies.
"The goal of my expedition was to raise public awareness of the polar region and climate change. I hope that more people will take action to protect the Earth," Wen said.