We were lucky enough to hear about an epic adventure to Antarctica from one of our tribe, Kim Ellis, Director of the Australian Antarctic Division. We sat down with Kim to learn more!
Can you tell us a little more about your trip?
We left Christchurch NZ in late December on a US C130 and travelled a total of over 10000km from the US McMurdo Station in Terra Nova across to the Russian Molodezhnaya Station, visiting another 15 international stations between (including all of the 4 Australian stations).
Most of our travel was in a Basler BT-70 (converted WW2 DC3) with shorter trips in the Twin Otter. These were long and demanding trips in the air and in very basic conditions - no cabin service! The Chief bars and bottled water were all I needed.
The highlight - well, every day was a treasure - flying across the transAntarctic mountains, landing in remote ski fields, visiting the abandoned Russian station at Molodezhnaya or just spending time with my teams in the field at Davis, Mawson and Casey stations. I loved every day. We eventually arrived home in early March and we are now planning the next season of operations in Antarctica. I currently have 89 expeditioners wintering at our four Antarctic and sub Antarctic stations.
How did Chief Bars help?
The Chief bars were just what I needed - portable (always one in the pocket, 3 in the backpack), durable (the travel in Antarctica is very challenging and the Chief Bars and my Panasonic LX100 got a real beating - both survived really well) and tasty (the food on most of the Antarctic research stations is fantastic - not so much while travelling). Most importantly, they were not sweet or sugary; so no sugar highs and lows. Your body burns a lot of kilojoules in the extreme cold, so you need a constant source of energy and the Chief bars really suited my needs.
What advice would you have for someone else thinking about travelling to Antarctica?
DO IT as soon as you can! It is the most amazing, overwhelming, exciting place on earth - and one of the most fragile. The changing climate is changing Antarctica and there is no time to waste. Access to East Antarctica, where we did our trip, is very limited, but you can arrange travel to the Antarctic Peninsula through South America. The travel companies linked to IATO are all very good so you will be spoilt for choice (once COVID19 is contained).
Where can we find out more about you and your trip(s)?
The Australian Antarctic Division has a remarkable catalogue of our adventures and all of our work at www.antarctica.gov.au. It's well worth a visit.
Do you have a story to share?
Please let us know!
Please Note: These are Kim's personal opinions, not an official endorsement, and Chief has no association with the Australian Antarctic Division.