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Antarctic Trio Reaches Food Depot

November 16, 1998

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) _ Weighed down by heavy sleds, a trio of adventurers retracing Robert Scott’s ill-fated 1911 ski trek to the South Pole have covered only 60 miles since their journey began nearly two weeks ago.

New Zealander Peter Hillary, son of Everest conqueror Sir Edmund Hillary, and Australians Jon Muir and Eric Philips left New Zealand’s Scott Base in Antarctica on Nov. 4 to ski 1,875 miles to the South Pole and back.

They set out with each pulling sled with 396-pounds of supplies, fuel and equipment, and will drop supplies along the route to use on the return journey.

Ice trek spokeswoman Barbara Crocker said the skiers shed 24 lb. of supplies today at the first drop-off point, and hoped to cover 125 miles in the next 10 days.

Crocker said the trio reported slow progress due to sastrugi _ bumpy, wave-like ice formations caused by the strong Antarctic winds.

Scott and his team of four men, who had set out with ponies and sled-dogs, died of starvation and weakness only a few miles from a supply dump and only days from their journey’s end.

Hillary’s team, however, is counting on modern technology _ like ultra lightweight equipment, an Iridium satellite phone and paraglider-style kites _ to see them safely through the adventure, which is estimated to last about 100 days.

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