Mail Online - Sir Ranulph Fiennes


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Mail Online - Sir Ranulph Fiennes

  1. 1. The Coldest Journey: Sir Ranulph Fiennes toundertake six-month Antarctic expedition attemperatures of -90C  Sir Ranulph will be oldest explorer to cross Antarctic at the age of 68  His team will have to deal with temperatures as low as -90C  Crowned the worlds greatest explorer by Guinness World Records  The explorer cut off his own fingers after getting frostbite in 2000By Catherine Eade, 17 September 2012British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes is to to lead the first team on foot across the Antarctic during the southernwinter, he revealed today.The 68-year-old will brave temperatures of minus 50C (minus 58F) during the expedition next year when his groupwill make the trip called the Coldest Journey On Earth. In some places temperatures are expected to be as low as -90C.The team will carry out readings and measurements for scientists, providing data on marine life, oceanography andmeteorology.There is a huge, blank knowledge of the winter of Antarctica, what is happening to Antarctica during a periodwhen the scientists cant normally get out there, Sir Ranulph told BBC Breakfast.Our caboose will be bristling with scientific instruments, for Nasa, for the European Space Agency.The explorer is hoping to raise 10 million US dollars (£6.17 million) for Seeing Is Believing, a charitable initiativeto tackle avoidable blindness around the world.Sir Ranulph has broken several records and led many expeditions to remote regions. He was described by GuinnessWorld Records in 1984 as the worlds greatest living explorer.He is famous for taking part in the first successful circumnavigation via both the geographical poles, completedwith Charles Burton in 1982.Fiennes also achieved a world first in 1992-1993 by completing the first unsupported crossing of the AntarcticContinent with Mike Stroud in what was the longest unsupported polar journey in history.He also successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest in 2009 at the age of 65, becoming the oldest Briton toachieve this feat - despite despite having a heart condition, a fear of heights, and a few missing fingertips afterfrostbite attacked his fingers so badly he performed a DIY amputation in his garden shed.Speaking to the BBC, Sir Ranulph said he thought of his wife, children and a hot bath during arduous challenges.The six-month expedition will see the 68-year-old explorer cross terrain where temperatures are as low as -90C.
  2. 2. A ship will drop the team off on the Pacific coast of the continent, where they will set off over the ice shelf whenthe equinox arrives on 21 March 2013.Sir Ranulph will then ascend 10,000ft (3,000m) on to the inland plateau, and head onwards to the South Pole. Itwill be hundreds of miles before the team drops 11,000ft back on to the ice shelf.After covering around 2,000 miles (3,200km) in total their journey will end at the Ross Sea.While Sir Ranulph and a skiing partner will lead on foot, the BBC revealed they will be followed by two bulldozersdragging industrial sledges.Inside three containers on the sledges will be the teams living quarters, supplies, and a science laboratory. Draggedbehind this will be the fuel they need.Making it alive across one of the most inhospitable terrains in the world will be a challenge.One hundred years ago on the same ice shelf, Capt Scott died on his polar expedition as he was caught out by thestart of the southern winter.Over 40 years the former SAS officer has carved a career as one of the world’s top explorers.Between 1979-82 he circumnavigated the world via both Poles. In 1993 he became the first person to cross theAntarctic continent on foot, dragging a 450lb sledge.He undertook several expeditions to the North Pole in the 1990s while striving to become the first person to reach itsolo and unaided.In 2003 he ran seven marathons in seven days, just four months after his heart attack. And in 2007 he climbed theNorth Face of the Eiger, one of the hardest challenges in the Alps.In 2009 he became the only person to have crossed the ice caps of both Poles, and to have climbed to the highestpoint on Earth. On ice: In the 2009 television series Top Dogs: Adventures In War, Sea And Ice, Ranulph Fiennes (right) travelled with Robin Knox-Johnston and John Simpson across the frozen wastes of the Canadian ArcticSource: