Businessman becomes only third Pole in HISTORY to make epic solo voyage to South Pole
A businessman from Strzyżów has become the third Polish man in history to walk to the South Pole on his own and without any outside support.
Jacek Libucha covered the astonishing 1,141 km icy route from the Hercules Inlet in Antarctica to the southernmost point of the globe in 53 days and four hours.
The 44-year old set off on his solo expedition on November 13th with skis and a 110kg sledge full of equipment.
Pulling the sledge behind him, Libucha took less than two months to cross the glacier desert, struggling with heavy snow, whiteouts, limited visibility, sharp, irregular ice grooves and ridges, as well as strong winds before finally making it to the South Pole.
On January 5th, he reported: “I made it! Today, January 5th 2020, at 17:41 Chilean time (21:41 Polish time), after 53 days, 4 hours and 1 minute, I have reached the South Pole!”
In addition to extreme weather conditions which made navigation practically impossible, layers of fresh powder snow made pulling the sledge twice as difficult, reducing his planned 15-30 km per day to a mere 8-10 km per day.
With his food and fuel reserves strictly calculated, the delay meant he went through his food in the first few days.
He said: “When I arrived at the Pole, from all the food that I had brought for the expedition that last sugar cube was all I had!!! I will frame it and keep it as a souvenir.(...)
“Miracle diet: eat 5000 calories every day and lose 16 kilos within two months - I need to patent it.”
Libucha said he decided to commence on his epic journey in part to fulfil a dream but also because of his father.
He said: “Almost 10 years ago there came a spark of an idea, a call, a dream, which matured in 2015 – and after four years of preparation and training, it’s time to answer the call.
“Every solo expedition is a journey into the depths of mind and soul. I’m very curious what I will find there this time.
“This expedition is also a tribute in memory of my father – Adam Libucha – a sailor, a dreamer and unfulfilled traveller.”
Libucha who works as a managing director and partner at the Boston Consulting Group in Warsaw dealing with the energy sector and industrial goods, prepared for Antarctica by going north and testing his abilities on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen.
A father of two daughters, prior to his corporate career and obtaining an MBA served in the Polish Military. He graduated from the Tadeusz Kościuszko Land Forces Military Academy in Wrocław, as well as the United States Coast Guard Academy and Ranger School.
His new feat makes Libucha the third Pole in history to reach the South Pole solo and without support, after Marek Kamiński in 1995 and Małgorzata Wojtaczka in 2017.
The trio are in a company of about 30 travellers from around the world, led by Roald Amundsen, who was the first to do so in 1911.