What was initially a 335-km race to the South Pole between British, American and Commonwealth teams had a surprise ending. The fierce but fun competition was suspended due to dangerous conditions. The teams merged into one group for the last part of the trek.
Each of the soldiers on Prince Harry’s team had lost a limb in action, and one lost both legs in Afghanistan. Yet, each would haul a 75-kilogram sled. They had a serious goal: to raise money and awareness for “Walking with the Wounded”. This veterans’ charity helps retrain soldiers for life after the military.
Ed Parker, director of the expedition, told the press about the moment when the teams reached the South Pole: “It was very emotional. We took off our skis and hooked off our sledges and stood together before walking up to the Pole as one.”
Photo Source: http://walkingwiththewounded.org.uk/southpole2013/category/south-pole-2013/
This photograph shows a trail of footprints across Antarctica. The person who made them is long gone.
Raised footprints take weeks to form. They are the product of a very specific environment. The snow has to be loose and dry, so that the foot can sink in and compress the snow until it’s hard. Since snowfall and rain can spoil the print, the weather has to be dry. And there has to be constant wind. As someone walks, their feet tamp down the snow until it’s extremely hard in comparison to the snow all around it.
As the wind sweeps across the area, it whisks away loose particles of snow. It takes considerably longer to whisk away the compressed snow of the footprints. Eventually, the wind wears down an entire plain, or side of a hill, except for the hardened tracks in the snow.