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The End of South Pole Quest: Move On To Pt2:Mount Vinson

Adversity. It’s part of every journey. After painstakingly towing a warped sled that has become dramatically more warped as the load lightens, Laval has made the hard decision to end his South Pole quest and will move on to Pt2:Mount Vinson. He thanks everyone for their support.

“Adversity. It’s part of any journey, but this is a tough one.With an expedition like this, you’re bound to have good and bad days – and then there’s days when it feels like everything is coming crashing down. This was one of those days. When my pulk (sled) arrived in Punta Arenas from the manufacturer, it was significantly warped. We were all concerned, but it was determined that the pulk would track straight once loaded with gear.

Over the past two weeks on the ice, the pulk has become lighter as I consume food and fuel, and it has slowly returned to its original delivered state: warped. This warpage now causes the pulk to careen to the right much like a water skier turning right behind a boat, running into drifts and deep snow. I’ve shuffled, re-shuffled and moved the weight from side to side, forward and aft, re-attached the towing rope to the front left and right corners of the pulk, and pulled with all my might – nearly to physical collapse.

The harder I pull, the harder the pulk pulls back, and the further it warps. The irony is that the lighter the pulk gets, the more pronounced the warp, and the harder it becomes to pull. Even in good conditions, I’m nearly at a full stop.

Today, I had to make a decision. I could accept help, become a supported mission, take longer to reach the Pole and miss the window of opportunity to summit Mount Vinson, the last of my seven summits. Or I change course.

With a heavy heart, I must abandon the South Pole mission. I will head to Union Glacier for a December 18 departure to Mount Vinson, where I will still endeavour to reach its 4,892m summit.

I have been dedicating this expedition towards raising much needed funds for the Alberta Cancer Foundation, and that will continue. Adversity is part of every cancer battle, and pushing forward (even if down a different course) is part of the journey every cancer fighter must face. I am so lucky to even have the opportunity to be here, and the journey must continue.This expedition has always had two parts, so here we go on Part II. Just need to mentally recover from the tech issue and keep moving forward. Thanks for your support.” -LS

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