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Norwegian reaches South Pole

PUNTA ARENAS, Chile, Dec. 25 -- After a 50-day solo trek, Norwegian adventurer Borge Ousland reached the South Pole Thursday, officials in Punto Arenas, 1440 miles (2,400 kms) south of Santiago, announced Sunday. Ousland reportedly plans to continue his nonmotorized expedition on to the McMurdo base on the Ross Sea.

If he succeeds, he would become the first person to make the 1,560-mile (2,600 kilometer) Antarctic walk unaccompanied. Ousland accomplished the first leg of his journey with average walks of 10 hours per day, pulling a 396-pound (179 kg) sled that carries his supplies. Sled dogs are prohibited in the Antarctic, in order to avoid polluting the region's pristine ice fields. Ousland, who has walked to the North Pole twice, also carries all the garbage generated during the trip on the sled. Polish explorer Marek Kaminski, who embarked on a similar expedition 60 days ago, is expected to reach the South Pole this week, authorities said.

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