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The Aerospace in Antarctica

We caught up with two explorers, Sébastien Lapierre and Eric Philips, who went in the most proving, exacting environment on earth with our goggles and glasses.

The Aerospace in Antarctica

The Super Flow System reached south pole with Sébastien Lapierre and Eric Philips

Sébastien Lapierre's job is fireman but he is also an explorer. The canadian took a challenge none of his compatriots managed before. For his first trip to Antarctica he spend 42 days between november 28th 2016 and january 9th 2017 alone on the frozen continent with an average temperature of - 30°c (-22F°). He had to go there during christmas and new year eve holidays, it's summer there and the sun is up basically all day long. Otherwise during winter (the summer for the northen emisphere) it's all dark there.

You will also find at the bottom of the interview a testimony from Eric Philips, an australian guide who also went to south pole. What does he have in common with Sébastien Lapierre ? They both were wearing Julbo Aerospace goggles featuring the Super Flow System.

The two explorers actually met at the goegraphical south pole. Sébastien and Eric, and his clients, arrived within seconds of each other from opposite directions. They both kept a warm souvenir of their encounter. The world is so small even in the most wide wild place.

 

Julbo : Hi Sébastien, explain us the expedition ?


Sébastien Lapierre : The aim was to reach the south pole by skis, in solo and self-sufficient. I had no refuel possibility and I had to move with my own muscles. I crossed 1200km (745 miles) from the sea level to the south pole. I ended up at 2800m high (9180 feet).

 

How long does it take to prepare for such an expedition?


I've been working on the project for 3 years. It might seems a lot but I had to cope with work and family. In the end it was benefic to put such an amount of time in the preparation. Once you are there it's mostly about your mind. You have to keep the postives stuff in sight in order to move forward day after day.

 

You were self-sufficient, what did you take? Any idea on the weight you pulled?

Since I had no reful possibility I carried a lot of food and gas to melt the snow. At the beginning my sled weighed 110 kilos (242 pounds). Half of the total was the food and the gas. The rest was the hardware, the camping panel (tente, sleeping bag, cooking stuff, insulation mattress...), the clothes (although I had very few extra) et the electronical (GPS, camera, solar panel, SOS beacon....)

 Julbo Aerospace Antarctique

For Eric Philips (picture) and Sébastien Lapierre skis were mandatory

How did you sleep?

Sleeping is a major concern because you need it to rest but it was hard to get a good night. The main issue was the wind banging on the tente. It was blowing irregularly so it woke me up several times. Anyhow the sun was shining 24 hours so it warmed my little house. I benefited from a greenhouse effect on bright days. I even felt too warm some nights !!

 

How did you found your way there?

I had a compass and also a GPS. During witheout days (zero visibility) I attached my compass so I could see it at all time and I skied looking at it. Otherwise with quieter weather I was watching at my GPS. As you may think I could not go on a straight line to the south pole. I did a few detours because I had to avoid some zone with crevices and cracks.

 

With those frozen temperatures, life isn't the same, right?

Let's say everything become much more complicated with the cold. The slightest gesture takes reflexion and you have to cope the manipulations with gloves or mittens on. I lacked of dexterity and therefore it took more time to accomplish the task.

 Julbo Aerospace

Sébastien reaching his goal!

 

Any particular moment you want to share?


After two weeks I was caught in a blizzard, I saw it at the horizon and a few minutes after I was at the heart of it. I had to set up the tent in that wind knowing that any error would be fatal. Yet I remembered smiling because I took pleasure in this new challenge.

 

What glasses and goggles you took for the trip?

I had the Explorer 2.0 with spectron lenses and a Aerospace Zebra Light lens pair of goggles. I was enchanted by the system of ventilation of Aerospace. And I had no issue with the photochromic lenses, it all worked like a charm.

 

 

You will find here Eric Philips testimony on his journey.

"I just returned from skiing a new route through the Transantarctic Mountains to the South Pole, my tenth time to the pole. I’ve spent a lot of time on the Antarctica plateau, one of the most exacting environments on earth and also one of its greatest proving grounds. On a long ski expedition at -30c (-22F) perfect eyewear is imperative, not just for comfort and functionality, but for pure practicality - to see through. I have not yet found a goggle that will not fog and ice up on the plateau without a huge amount of management - until now.

Julbo’s Aerospace is a quantum shift in design, and the results for me were instant - no fogging, no icing. Let me explain the importance. On the Antarctic plateau, once eyewear fogs up it freezes, hard. No amount of scraping will remove the rime and there is no capability to melt it until you get in the tent. You are, in effect, blind. As a guide I can’t afford that. Because the Aerospace lens can be hinged away from the frame, creating airflow, moisture from breathing passes right through from one side to the other, giving me perfect vision.

I’m going back next year to do another new route and I have my Aerospace goggles already packed!"

Julbo Aerospace

Eric Philips and his clients: the well deserved selfie


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