The South Pole never seem to get any love. While Santa is chilling up north, this region seems to be pretty empty. Only a handful of people have ever stepped foot on this region. One of them unintentionally managed to do it in a swift manner.
Going down south
Edmund Hillary couldn’t get enough of climbing high distances. The New Zealander got his start with climbing Aoraki / Mount Cook, which is over 12,000 feet. One of his most challenging climbs was Mount Everest between Nepal and China. After several attempts, he became one of the first to climb the monstrous structure.
For his next venture, Hillary decided to take things a bit further. After hearing about previous treks to the South Pole, he decided to make it his next destination.
Some approval first
In order to make this a reality, Hillary had to get the nod from the government. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to bribe them with cash or any fish and chips. He found some unexpected help from British explorer Sir Vivian Fuchs. As the leader of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, Fuchs needed another individual for the mission.
After numerous pleas to the government, they decided to allow Hillary on this journey.
It’s now or never
In December 1957, Hillary’s team was stationed at the Scott Base before setting supplies at Skelton Glacier and Polar Plateau. With the South Pole several miles away, Hillary decided to get a head start over the remaining crew.
Using a snow vehicle, Hillary rode his way to his prized destination on January 4, 1958. This made him the third person to make their way to the South Pole. He also became the first to arrive on a vehicle. Fuchs arrived at the area 15 days later, but Hillary kept his smugness to himself.