20 April, 2017: The Great Grandson of legendary explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, Patrick Bergel has made history by becoming the first to drive a passenger car across the Antarctic. The 30-day route - driven in a Hyundai Santa Fe - traversed the continent from Union Camp to McMurdo and back again, completing the journey that Shackleton began over 100 years ago.
The 30-day expedition, facilitated by Hyundai Motor, saw Patrick and small team take on almost 5,800km of icy terrain in bitter conditions. They not only had to cover extreme distances at temperatures down to minus 28-degrees Celsius but also had to plot new paths on floating ice caps that have never been travelled by wheeled vehicle before.
The expedition was inspired by Shackleton’s heroic Trans-Antarctic journey of 1914-17 when, having been beaten to the Pole by Roald Amundsen, he tried to become the first to cross the continent. His ship sank in pack ice, but the heroic explorer and five men sailed 800 miles over open, stormy sea to South Georgia, from where a successful rescue could be launched.
It was this spirit of endurance shown by Shackleton that inspired Hyundai Motor to visit the Antarctic and enable a member of Shackleton’s family to complete what had been started over 100 years ago.
The journey was carefully plotted on GPS and locations of potential danger areas were reviewed in detailed meetings with experts at Union Glacier before departure but there were still plenty of pitfalls along the way.
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