Ladies and gentlemen, it’s official: Davor Rostuhar is the first Croat to ever conquer the South Pole!
Croatian adventurer and travel writer Davor Rostuhar reached the South Pole, becoming the first Croat to ever complete the challenging solo expedition on foot, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on January 17, 2018.
Rostuhar announced he’d reached the finish line on his Facebook page on Wednesday at 21:24. The polar expedition took him 47 days, and he’s seen it all along the way: blizzards, strong winds, freezing at -50 degrees Celsius… Davor walked the entire distance on skis at a pace of 30 kilometres a day, travelling a total of 1200 kilometres. He’s the first Croat – and the 24th person in history – who reached the South Pole on foot, dragging a heavy sleigh ridden with equipment and stock.
He’s about to head home; instead of walking back, he opted for air travel this time.
„It’s all part of the ALE logistics which is the most expensive part of the story, it’s what we crowdfunded for. I’m taking a Twin Otter plane from the pole to the Union Glacier base (I can’t wait to fly the distance that will take me a 48-day walk in 4.5 hours – what a sensation that will be!), and then I’m taking an Ilyushin plane from Union Glacier to Punta Arenas in Chile“, Rostuhar stated.
Apart from the South Pole, there are two other Holy Grails of expeditions, the North Pole and Mt Everest. Arguably the best known Croatian adventurer, Stipe Božić was the first Croat to conquer them both, leaving the South Pole the only major expedition classic no one from the region has yet dared to face.
Rostuhar thus decided to take it upon himself to complete the trifecta in the name of all Croatian adventurers, but the expedition called for substantial funds – $200.000. He invested $50.000 and raised another $60.000 with the help of sponsors, turning to the public to raise the remaining sum with a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo:
„I’ve been dreaming this „Polar Dream“ ever since I started travelling, 16 years ago. I’ve been dreaming of walking 1200 km from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole – solo, unsupported and unassisted. It is one of the remotest and most desolate parts of the World, and probably the last true wilderness. I’ve been dreaming this dream ever since I first tasted the freedom of travelling, and for the last two years I’ve been preparing intensely for this remarkable endeavour.
There are only 20 people in history who undertook the South Pole expedition solo, unsupported and unassisted. It means that I will use no external power (wind, dogs, engines…) and will have no resupply: I will pull the entire equipment and food necessary for a 50-day journey in a sled weighing 130 kg.
I’ve been training for two years and my preparations included expeditions to northern Siberia, northern Greenland, Svalbard and Norway. I’ve learned how to manage cold and extreme environment from traditional Arctic dwellers such as the Inuit, Nenet and Sami. Most of the time, however, me and my small but great team spent fundraising, but with mixed success. We have half of the funds ready. With this crowdfunding campaign I’m trying to raise part of the remaining sum – 40.000 USD for flights from South America to the start of the expedition, and from the expedition’s end back to South America.“
$45.558 later, he was ready to go.
Having completed his mission, he finally got to open the bottle of whisky he’s been carrying with him the whole time, and proudly fly the Croatian flag at one of the most inaccessible locations on Earth. Congratulations, Davor!
Photo credit: Davor Rostuhar – pisac i fotograf / Facebook