Antartica is a pretty unforgiving place. Earlier this year, a group of Russian scientists went missing in the frozen abyss for over a week before being found safe and well, so that doesn’t make you think that a 68 year-old Brit will have much better luck when he goes there next year.
But this isn’t any old pensioner; this is Sir Ranulph Fiennes, one of Britain’s finest ever explorers. Fiennes is looking to lead the first team on foot across Antartica during the southern winter, with his six-month expedition set to hit temperatures of -90C.
Having been described by the Guinness World Records as the world’s greatest living explorer, Fiennes should feel pretty confident that he’ll be able to complete the journey though. His past achievements have included going from pole to pole and climbing Everest, both as a pensioner.
Details of the excursion have also been released and have revealed that the team will be dropped off by ship on the Pacific coast of the continent where they will wait for the equinox on 21 March 2013 after which they will set off as the harsh and brutal winter begins.
Fiennes is attempting to raise £6million for the blindness charity Seeing Is Believing and also hopes to unveil some new scientific facts stating:
“There is a huge, blank knowledge of the winter of Antartica, what is happening to Antartica during a period when the scientists can’t normally get out there. Our caboose will be bristling with scientific instruments for NASA and the European Space Agency.”
It will also come 100 years after Captain Scott died on his infamous expedition crossing the same distance due to being caught out by the start of the southern winter. Sir Ranulph, you have been warned.