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Local Man Skis Across Antarctica to Reach South Pole

Aaron Linsdau, who grew up in San Diego's South Bay, reached the South Pole Monday.

Updated Jan. 22 at 2:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Hoping to challenge himself and raise awareness of prostate cancer, Aaron Linsdau started his trek across Antarctica last October.

After years of planning and months of travel, on Monday, according to his Facebook page, he hit the halfway point: the South Pole.

Linsdau will end his trip at the South Pole instead of traveling back to the Antarctic coast, said Aaron's father Tim Linsdau and Polar news website ExplorersWeb.

If he had succeeded, Linsdau would have become the first American to travel unassisted on skis from the Antarctic coast to the South Pole and back.

Since he received a food resupply, the trip could no longer be considered unassisted.

Linsdau may be back in San Diego within a week.

Along the way across the icy continent, Linsdau encountered crevasses, bronchitis and whiteout conditions as recently as Saturday, according to his audio blog.

Whiteouts can feel a bit like a pilot lost in fog who refuses to believe his navigational instruments, he said. It doesn’t help that for more than a week he’s been seeing spots and “all sorts of weird stuff.”

People who travel across the secluded continent have been known to hallucinate. To keep his sanity during the 700-mile journey, Linsdau listened to music and audio books like To Kill a Mockingbird and biographies about Aaron Burr and George Washington.

“It was complete whiteout for over five hours at 30 knots either head on or slightly off access wind. Holy moly. Plus I had my goggles iced up so it was pretty much, as Alf said, Zen travel,” he said in his blog.

Since recovering from a bout with bronchitis, Linsdau has traveled nine hours a day for more than 40 days straight, he said. Food has become an issue in the past week after some of his rations went bad. To fuel the trip, Linsdau ate 6,000 calories a day, including two sticks of butter for breakfast.

“I’m shuffling things around so I don’t end up totally starving. Pretty much dead on my feet constantly with hunger so that kinda sucks,” he said in his audio dispatch last Thursday. “I don’t want to push my rations but I’m getting real tired of just starving and that does definitely suck.”

Linsdau grew up in Wyoming and South San Diego. He attended Southwest High School and San Diego State University. His parents Tim and Vicki Linsdau attend St. James Lutheran Church in Imperial Beach and have been praying for their son.

Click here to read more about how Linsdau prepared for his trip across Antarctica.

Prior to his trip across the continent made primarily of ice, Linsdau made trips through Greenland and Yellowstone National Park.

Go to aaronlinsdau.com to hear Linsdau's audio blogs.

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