Eating the equivalent of 15 burgers a day for 2200km trek across Antartica to South Pole


Adventurers helping people in need ... James Castrission and Justin Jones at Sydney Airport bound for Santiago to embark on their 2200km trek to Antartica and back. Picture: Ross Schultz Source: The Daily Telegraph

Justin Jones and James Castrission eat equivalent of 15 burgers a day for 2200km trek across Antartica to South Pole.

Eating the calorie equivalent of 15 burgers a day is hardly the making of a fitness fanatic - but it's just what is needed for a gruelling polar adventure.

Justin Jones, 28, and James Castrission, 29, - who become pioneers kayaking 3300km across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand in 2008 - have each put on about 20 kilograms in preparation for their 2,200km trek across Antarctica, to the South Pole and back.

A century after Norwegian adventurer Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole, the former pupils at Knox Grammar School, Wahroonga, are hoping to repeat the feat but this time without a support crew or husky dogs to raise money for the You Can charity.

Nobody has reached the pole and returned successfully without support, with three previous expeditions failing.

This morning, the two men farewelled their families and close friends at Sydney International Airport as they prepared to traverse some of the world's windiest terrain.

This time, they will each be towing 160 kilograms worth of gear as they cross country ski in sub-50C temperatures.

They will be fuelled by dehydrated meat, nuts and meal replacement powder, weighing about 100kg per person.

"About 6000 calories a day," Jones said.

"We're going to be our own husky dogs."

Castrission added: "That's 15 Big Macs of food worth a day, and we're still expected to lose a tonne of weight - we're expecting 20-30 kilos each."

After training in the Arctic Circle earlier this year, Jones said they were prepared for the deep freeze.

"That's so cold that your breath freezes in front of your face, you get ice form in your sleeping bag, it's intensely cold," he said.

He acknowledged their families faced another psychological test.

"It's tough on them but they're proud of us and they're supporting us," he said.

Castission's mother Vivienne had tears in her eyes as she farewelled her son, as he boarded a plane to Santiago.

"For me, it was just the reality coming in now. I'm a lot calmer this time around I must say," she said.

"They're very, very well prepared ... they know what they're in for."

Ms Castrission has given up trying to stop them.

"They're older, they've got it more together, and the first time's always the hardest," she said.

"We tried so hard to stop them last time and we didn't try to stop them this time, this is what they're going to do."

Jones' mother Chintra, who lives in Jakarta with his father Roderick, feels more confident this time, except for the fear of frostbite.

"I think it's because it's on the land," she said.

"(But) when you see the frostbite, the arm cut off, it's a worry."

The friends have taken dietary advice from Castrission's fiancee Mia Ballenden, a nutritionist, and taken some fitness tips from his sister Liane, 26, a physiotherapist.

Jones' sister Louisa, a 31-year-old doctor based in Sydney, has also had an insight into the preparations, along with Australian adventure doctor Glenn Singleman, who has climbed the Himalayas and based jumped with his wife.

The adventurers begin their trek from Union Glacier Camp to the South Pole on October 16 and expect to complete their feat by mid-January.

"Spending three months out on the ice with your best mate, you're going to get the occasional tiff but fortunately we've seen each other at our best and worst and we can work through it most of the time," Castrission said.

See the original artical in The Telegraph;