Troy University graduate Tim Magee knows what it is like to be on top of the world — and the bottom as well.
Magee has completed trips to both the North and South Poles, a feat accomplished by only a few people in the world. Less than 5,000 people have been to the North Pole, and less than 2,000 people have been to the South Pole. Fewer than 1,000 people have been to both.
The North Pole was the first of Magee’s poles voyages. He joined 91 other passengers from 19 different countries aboard the 28,000-ton ship Hamal, which plowed through the ice at eight knots.
Magee visited the South Pole in January. He described it as a desert ice box.
“If you did not wear sunscreen, you would get burned in a warm 10-below zero,” Magee said. “Antarctica is huge. It’s the coldest, driest, windiest continent in the world.”
Upon arriving in Antartica following a flight fron Puntas Arenas, Chile, Magee’s team made base camp at Patriot Hill, loctated on the coast. From there, the team flew inland to the Amundson-Scott South Pole Station.
“The flight to the interior was like nothing I have ever seen,” Magee said. “I’ve never seen so much white in my life. It was such a beautiful, desolate place.”
While at the South Pole Station, Magee joined the elite “300 Club” for travelers willing to brave extreme temperatures.
“When the temperature reached 100 below we stripped down to almost nothing and sat in a 200-degree sauna,” Magee said. “Then we jumped out, ran to the Geographic South pole marker and back. The distance from the sauna to the pole was a good 50 yards and it was a good 300 degree temperature change.”
While at the South Pole, Magee gave TROY head football coach Larry Blakeney and head basketball Coach Don Maestri each a call on a satellite phone.
“Surprisingly, they both answered,” Magee said. “I only talked to them for about 11 minutes. The bill was around $240.”
Magee said completing voyages to both the North and South Poles had been dream for a long time.
“I must have taken at least 200 pictures to make sure I had proof that I had gone to both poles because sometimes I don’t even believe it myself,” he said. “It was the experience of a lifetime.”
Magee graduated TROY in 1980 with a degree in business administration management. He is a practicing attorney in the city of Troy.
Jenkins, a senior broadcast journalism major from Troy, is a summer intern for the office of university relations.