A Dublin man has returned home safely after an epic adventure to the South Pole.
A Southside man has returned home safely after an epic adventure to the South Pole.
Kevin Dempsey (52), who is originally from Churchtown, became only the second Irish person ever to arrive at the pole hauling his own sled.
He survived death in a climbing accident on Mount Vinson in Antarctica last year to complete his extreme Antarctic adventure last month.
As the first Irish person to take part in a ‘Last Degree’ expedition to the South Pole, Kevin and his teammates reached their destination just before Christmas.
The first Irishman to achieve the feat, Mike Barry, was part of a team that completed a full crossing from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole in 1994.
The ‘Last Degree’ expedition involved intricate airdrops to the last degree of latitude, (the 89th parallel), and then eight days of sled-hauling the 110km to the pole.
Speaking by satellite phone from the South Pole, Kevin said: “All went well apart from minor injuries and the trip was a fantastic success. I have fulfilled a major dream of walking in the footsteps of Scott and other Antarctic explorers.”
Talking about his success after reaching the pole on a website that chronicles his adventures he added: “I now have a deep sense of satisfaction in what I have achieved along with a heightened sense of confidence.
“Records mean nothing in mountaineering or extreme travel adventures,” he declared. “There are no gold medals to be won. Certainly no one else will care about the simple little facts but I have the personal satisfaction of knowing that I am the first Irish person to have completed a ‘Last Degree’ expedition.”
Over the eight days the team were hit with some of the worst polar storms in recent years. They marched nine hours a day through whiteouts, -40C temperatures and 35mph headwinds with a wind chill factor of – 60C in one of the most hostile environments on the planet.
This team was the first expedition to reach the South Pole during the season, and Kevin is the second Irish person ever to reach the South Pole on skis hauling his own supplies.