Two British polar explorers, Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere, in partnership with Land Rover and Intel, will on the 3rd October depart these shores to complete Scott’s ill-fated 1910-1912 Terra Nova expedition – an unsupported return journey from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole. Historically significant, it will be the first time in more than 100 years that Scott’s journey has been attempted and is being undertaken under the patronage of Scott’s grandson, Falcon Scott.
At 1,800 miles (equivalent to 69 back-to-back marathons) it will be the longest unsupported polar journey in history and set a new benchmark in terms of expedition technology.
Ben Saunders said: “The Scott Expedition will be both the greatest and most meaningful challenge I’ve ever taken on. Physically it sits on the very limits of human potential and will require every inch of resilience and determination we can summon to complete it. Equally, it is an opportunity to recognise the remarkable work of Captain Scott and his men and use the benefits of modern technology to celebrate his story worldwide. Completing Scott’s Terra Nova expedition is a life-long dream of mine and I’m extraordinarily grateful for the support of Land Rover and Intel in making the Scott Expedition a reality.”
Expedition patron Falcon Scott, grandson of Robert Falcon Scott, said: 'The Scott Expedition will be a truly exceptional and meaningful way to recognise and commemorate my grandfather's expedition to the South Pole. It is extraordinary to think that nobody has since successfully replicated his expedition and I fully support Ben and Tarka in this bold venture. I am very proud to be a Patron.'
Ben and Tarka will walk on average 9.5 hours per day and are expected to take 110 days to complete the Scott Expedition.
Departing from Scott’s Hut on the north shore of Cape Evans on Ross Island, Antarctica, they will traverse the Ross Ice Shelf, before climbing nearly 8000ft (2,440m) on one of the world’s largest glaciers, the Beardmore Glacier on to the Antarctica Plateau; and onwards to the South Pole. From the Pole it’s back the way they came, finishing 900 miles (1,450km) later where they began, at Scott’s Hut.
Operating in 24-hour daylight, Ben and Tarka will experience temperatures down to -50 and a wind chill of -70. They will consume almost 6,000 calories daily to maintain the strength necessary to haul the 200kg of kit and supplies they will require to complete the journey unsupported.
The Scott Expedition is under the patronage of Falcon Scott, Scott’s grandson and Robert Swan OBE, the first to reach both the North and South Poles on foot, and founder of 2041.