My South Pole Expedition Begins Today

My South Pole Expedition begins today. I just got official word that we take off tonight at 11:30pm local time! So tonight we fly out of Cape Town International Airport on a chartered Ilyushin 76 Belorussian military cargo plane bound for Novolazarevskaya Station or Novo Base-a Russian Antarctic research station with a massive blue ice runway.
Lee Abbamonte, novolazarevskaya
The is the same trip you may remember I did last year when famously Prince Harry prevented me from reaching the South Pole. However, this time, at least as of now, the weather is good on the ice and we have no delays getting out of Cape Town tonight. Last year we were delayed 2.5 days which really hurt our chances of making the South Pole. Bad weather on the ice to boot and some extenuating circumstances sealed our fates.
Ilyushin 76 plane
While the trip last year was still amazing, my end goal of standing at the Geographic South Pole was not achieved. This year I aim to change that and hope with every fiber of my being that my group; which includes a few good friends, makes it to the bottom of the world where we can say “Merry Christmas from the South Pole”!
Ilyushin 76, Lee Abbamonte
I am excited, anxious and a definitely a little nervous. I’m not nervous for the trip itself as I know what to expect but I am nervous for the unknown factors and things that are totally out of my control. I would be devastated if we don’t make it again this year after the disappointment of last year. While either way it is and will be an amazing trip and I am extremely fortunate to be able to do this trip again and attempt to achieve something so rare-if you don’t achieve your goal, especially something you’ve put a lot of time, energy and money into over the course of a few years-it would sting. That said, I am extremely positive about our chances for making the South Pole this trip and about our group in general.
Lee Abbamonte, Ilyushin 76, Antarctica
I will be 100% completely offline and off the grid until at least December 20 and expect a lot of awesome pictures and amazing stories when I get back to the world. For now it’s back to the ice!
Lee Abbamonte, Antarctica, ice caving

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