Para ready for expedition to South PoleDec 12 04:05
Some people chose to play it safe, and then you have people like Grant Korgan, who clearly don‘t. Korgan, who broke his back at the L1 level while snowmobiling March last year, is about to take off for the South Pole. He and his team are planning on skiing to the South Pole in a 10-day trek, dubbed “The Push,” with Korgan using the latest in crosscountry sit-ski technology. Starting January 7th 2012, they will be skiing 10 miles a day for 10 days straight, and if they‘re able to reach the pole, Korgan will be the first person with paralysis to ever do so.
But being “the first with SCI to get there” isn’t the goal. It‘s about inspiring others, says Korgan, and the enduring human spirit. John Davis, a Paralympic gold medalist in monskiing, was scheduled to also be of the expedition, but unfortunately had to withdraw last-minute because of an injury. So now - “The Push” team is comprised of Korgan, 34, world-renowned polar explorer Doug Stoup, Tal Fletcher, their guide, and a four-man film crew who will be capturing the adventure.
Korgan is no spring chicken to tackling the outdoors, who before his injury was a world-class kayaker. Going into negative 70 degree temps when you’re paralyzed requires some careful planning, so he knows the importance of setting the safety bar high. To make sure they’re absolutely ready, they’ve decided to train in Fairbanks, Alaska, where they’re currently skiing 7 hours a day right during the coldest times of the day (12:00 am to 7:00 am), on trails at the University of Fairbanks.
They’re hoping to scale 100 miles during their 10 day expedition, aiming to tick an average of 1 mph. Did I mention everyone will be pulling equipment behind them (including Korgan)? These guys are awesome.
Anyways, wishing you guys luck (from the comfort of my cozy home) and remember, watch out for the abominable snow monsters!
- The official expedition site: The Push: A South Pole Adventure
- Watch recent video of Korgan talking about training/getting pumped for the trip
- Korgan’s ski: The KBG Crosscountry Sit Ski
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.