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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pole to Pole

If you haven't made plans for next Christmas/New Year's, we have a suggestion: Antarctica!

This December marks the 100th anniversary of Roald Amundsen's arrival at the South Pole, and adventure toursist are shelling out thousands of dollars to be part of the festivities. $40,500 will get you a seat on a Polar Explorers plane to the Pole; if you want a more "authentic" reproduction of Amundsen's journey, you can pay $57,500 and get dropped off a degree or two farther away, so you can ski the last several miles. This option is particularly popular among that subset of sportsmen who like to get out of a cab 500 feet from the end of the New York City Marathon.

(DIGRESSION: Polar Explorers may have started a trend: Southwest Airlines announced a special deal on flights to Los Angeles; for an extra $150, you get dropped off in San Diego. EOD)

Granted that the entire world has been mapped, and there aren't too many places people can travel for a bit of adventure, but there's something morbid about gleeful yuppies with far too much disposable income trooping off to this harshest of terrestrial locales. Still, we can't help but feel that British explorer Robert Falcon Scott, who arrived at the South Pole shortly after Amundsen, and who died on his way back from, would feel these folks were somehow cheating.

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