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Korean ‘green’ explorers arrive at Antarctic point

Posted January. 30, 2011 19:06,   

Updated January. 01, 1970 09:00


Champion mountain climber and explorer Park Young-seok and his team have arrived at the South Pole on solar and wind power.

His expedition team arrived at the South Pole 41 days after departing from Patriot Hill in Antarctica, marking his second arrival there. The team’s original goal was to cross the Antarctic continent by using eco-friendly snowmobiles running on solar and wind power and going about 5,000 kilometers to reach Terra Nova.

Their quest was interrupted by the worst weather anomaly in 30 years, however. Snowmobiles can run for three hours after nine hours of charging with solar panels spread out toward the sun.

Antarctica has white nights when the sun does not set from November until February. The Korean explorers thus expected to recharge their snowmobiles at any time due to the white nights.

Instead, they were plagued by blizzards and snowstorms that prolonged the recharging time. They once spent two days just recharging their snowmobiles.

In a satellite phone call with The Dong-A Ilbo, Park said more than half of his expedition days were cloudy, disrupting the recharging process.

The team, which fought extreme cold and hunger from two days ago after running out of food and water, plans to stock up on food and go to Korea’s Antarctic research base to rest.

“I find meaning in this expedition in that we arrived at the Antarctic pole in an eco-friendly way,” Park said. “Experiencing the impact of abnormal temperatures on Antarctica has changed my thoughts about the earth’s environment.”