Quantcast

Climate Change Activist Shatters World Record for Fastest Trip to South Pole

Climate

It's official—climate change champion Parker Liautaud has completed the fastest-ever unsupported walk from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole.

The 19-year-old is also the youngest person to ever reach the North and South Poles.

The 2013 Willis Resilience Expedition—traveled with veteran explorer Doug Stoup to shine a brighter light on climate change advocacy—took 18 days, four hours and 43 minutes. The duo skied about 315 miles for up to 12 hours a day at an average pace of 17.4 miles per day while lugging sleds that weighed in excess of 176 pounds.

The ice, snow and blizzards faced from Dec. 6 to Christmas Eve combined for temperatures that got as low as -50 degrees fahrenheit.

Parker Liautaud, left, and Doug Stoup take a break during the record-setting 2013 Willis Resilience Expedition. Photo credit: Willis Resilience Expedition

“It’s an incredible honor to stand at the South Pole after a successful expedition," Liautaud said, according to the expedition website. "Over the past several weeks, I have learned a lot and am very thankful for the support of the team around me that made this expedition possible.

"I now hope to work with our scientific partners in the next phase of the research from this expedition and continue to contribute to reigniting the dialogue on climate change.”

Liautaud and Stoup planned to catch a flight to Punta Arenas, Chile after breaking the record previously held by Norway resident Christian Eide, who took 24 days to complete the mission.

A six-wheel Toyota Hilux served as the communications hub for the expedition, following the two men to film, stream and provide data, but that's about it. The men received no assistance, according to Willis.

“I’m proud to stand next to Parker at the Geographic South Pole after just over 18 days of skiing across Antarctica unsupported," Stoup said. "I’m also proud to be here as an ambassador for climate change." 

Liautaud is a sophomore at Yale University. He has also hiked to the North Pole three times since he turned 15.

He hasn’t discussed specific climate-related plans for his return to the U.S., but he began the trip by measuring and transmitting climate data at Leverett Glacier with the pilot model of the ColdFacts-3000BX weather station. He was also an ambassador for One Young World‘s Wake Up Call campaigned, which the group of young activists used to push for climate change policies in countries like Nepal and Algeria.

"Parker showed remarkable resilience throughout this expedition," Stoup said.

"He is an inspiration for his generation.”

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Coral restoration in Guam. U.S. Pacific Fleet / CC BY-NC 2.0

By Erica Cirino

Visit a coral reef off the coast of Miami or the Maldives and you may see fields of bleached white instead of a burst of colors.

Read More
Cracker Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana. Jacob W. Frank / NPS / Flickr

By Jason Bittel

High up in the mountains of Montana's Glacier National Park, there are two species of insect that only a fly fishermen or entomologist would probably recognize. Known as stoneflies, these aquatic bugs are similar to dragonflies and mayflies in that they spend part of their lives underwater before emerging onto the land, where they transform into winged adults less than a half inch long. However, unlike those other species, stoneflies do their thing only where cold, clean waters flow.

Read More
Sponsored
Augusta National / Getty Images

By Bob Curley

  • The new chicken sandwiches at McDonald's, Popeyes, and Chick-fil-A all contain the MSG flavor enhancement chemical.
  • Experts say MSG can enhance the so-called umami flavor of a food.
  • The ingredient is found in everything from Chinese food and pizza to prepackaged sandwiches and table sauces.

McDonald's wants to get in on the chicken sandwich war currently being waged between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A.

Read More
Protesters march during a "Friday for future" youth demonstration in a street of Davos on Jan. 24 on the sideline of the World Economic Forum annual meeting. FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

Youth climate activists marched through the streets of Davos, Switzerland Friday as the World Economic Forum wrapped up in a Fridays for Future demonstration underscoring their demand that the global elite act swiftly to tackle the climate emergency.

Read More
chuchart duangdaw / Moment / Getty Images

By Tim Radford

The year is less than four weeks old, but scientists already know that carbon dioxide emissions will continue to head upwards — as they have every year since measurements began leading to a continuation of the Earth's rising heat.

Read More