Skip to main content
In Brief

19-Year-Old Hopes to Break Speed Record to South Pole

geographic South Pole
The geographic South Pole is at 90 degrees south latitude. The station accommodates up to 250 people during the austral summer. Temperatures there average minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. (Image credit: Dwight Bohnet, National Science Foundation)

In early December, a 19-year-old student and his expedition partner will attempt to brrrreak the world record for the fastest skiing journey from Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf to the South Pole, which currently stands at 22 days, the Telegraph reports. If the Yale geology student, Parker Liautaud, makes it, he will become the youngest man to reach the South Pole on skis.

Liautaud and partner Doug Stoup will need to travel an average of more than 18 miles (30 kilometers) per day to break the speed record. Along the way they'll be treated with temperatures as low as minus 76 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 60 degrees Celsius) and will have to traverse the Transantarctic Mountain range, the Telegraph reports.

The pair plans to set up a weather station on the trek to gather meteorological data and collect samples of snow, which could help better understand Antarctica's climate.

Email Douglas Main or follow him @Douglas_Main. Follow us @livescience, Facebook or Google+.

Douglas Main
Douglas Main loves the weird and wonderful world of science, digging into amazing Planet Earth discoveries and wacky animal findings (from marsupials mating themselves to death to zombie worms to tear-drinking butterflies) for Live Science. Follow Doug on Google+.