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A Two-Man Trek Across Antarctica

On Nov. 5, 2011, a photographer, environmentalist and adventurer named Sebastian Copeland set off from the east coast of Antarctica with his traveling partner, Eric McNair-Landry, on an almost absurdly daring and arduous journey: a two-man crossing of the entire frozen continent, on skis — towing all of their supplies behind them on sleds, at 400 lb. per man when they started. They weren’t entirely self-powered: the pair used kites to pull them along when the winds were favorable. But that hardly made the voyage easy.

It wasn’t just a stunt. The trip was, first of all, a commemoration of the first expeditions to reach the South Pole a century ago, when Roald Amundsen, then Robert Falcon Scott, clawed their way to the southernmost point on Earth. Amundsen got back safely, but Scott and his party died on the return trek.

It was also an effort to dramatize the dangers of climate change. (Click here for the complete Climate Central story)