Day 5: Team lands at Union Glacier to face lunar-like landscape

Dr. Ross, team reach Union Glacier, 864 metres above sea level

Union Glacier, the busiest airport in Antarctica

It’s only -7 degrees Celsius!

Well, the plane took off and 5 hours later we landed at Union Glacier, Antarctica, 864 metres above sea level! We are here. It's 6:45 and dinner is at 7. Our luggage so fun to call our gear that will be offloaded shortly. It’s 8 kilometres from the blue ice runway to camp. We still need to set up tents etc... will be a late night. Briefing is at 9, then we go out to set camp.

The plane is one helluva beast. It's kind of hard to describe what it feels like. But imagine something BIG with no amenities. They did serve lunch to us!

The Ilyushin plane in Punta Arenas prepares to take Dr. Heather Ross’s team to Antarctica’s Union Glacier, 864 …

When you deplane, it feels like you have landed on a c nothing but snow, glaciers and mountains. Distance is impossible to determine – you look at a mountain and it is 20 kilometres away and the glacier is 4 kilometres wide. You can see for miles.

The camp is pristine and its location makes it ideal as the wind is minimal. We are putting up camp beside the main area. Then there are two large tents for eating – one for the ALE clients and one for clients guided by others: us and Polar Explorers.

Heather Ross, Diego Delgado and Dale Shippam in Punta Arenas airport, en route to Union Glacier.

Tomorrow we are supposed to break camp, ski out 4 kilometres and set camp, do some exercises (stove etc.), then we ski back and either set camp here or fly out to the last degree, we don’t know yet.

Dr. Heather Ross is travelling to the South Pole to raise awareness for heart disease.
Follow her Journey to the Bottom of the Earth exclusively on Yahoo! Canada.

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About Dr. Ross

One of Toronto’s top cardiologists is heading to the South Pole, and Yahoo Canada News is following every step of the voyage.

Dr. Heather Ross, Director of the Heart Failure Program at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and the Medical Director of the Cardiac Transplant Program, is venturing to the pole to raise awareness for heart failure research, cardiac transplantation and heart health.

Follow along starting Jan. 1 as Dr. Ross blogs her journey to the bottom of the Earth.

Find out more


Got a question for Dr. Heather Ross while she's on her South Pole journey? Send her a question by clicking above or emailing and she'll reply in a future blog post!