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Cumbrian man joins Antarctic challenge

A Cumbrian man is to join Sir Ranulph Fiennes in an Antarctic Expedition never attempted before.

Brian Newham from Caldbeck in Cumbria is part of a team that will join the veteran explorer as he attempts to cross the Antarctic in winter, the coldest journey on earth.

The group will set off on the 6th December by ship from the Thames to the Lazarev Sea in Antarctica.

Ian Prickett, Tristam Kay, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Brian Newham Credit: Coldest Journey

During the six month trek the team will travel 2,000 miles, mostly in complete darkness, in temperatures as low as -90 degrees Celsius.

This will be the first ever crossing of the Antarctic during winter, but the ultimate objective is to raise US$10m (just more than £6m) for the charity 'Seeing is Believing'. The charity is a global initiative to tackle avoidable blindness in developing countries.

The expedition team will undertake a number of scientific tasks to gather unique data on glaciology, marine life, oceanography and meteorology.

Our reporter Ryan Dollard went to meet Mr Newham and spoke to him about his latest adventure with the famous explorer.

Captain Scott famously attempted a 60 mile winter crossing in 1911, it was later described as 'the worst journey in the world'.

The crossing is the last major polar challenge remaining.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes said:

This will be my greatest challenge to date. We will stretch the limits of human endurance. Britain and the Commonwealth has a strong heritage of exploration, from Captain Cook 300 years ago to the present day. As such, it is fitting that a Commonwealth team should be the first to fulfil this last great polar expedition.

“It is a unique opportunity to carry out a number of scientific tasks in the extreme polar environment, which will make a significant contribution to our understanding of the true effects of global warming on the Antarctic continent.”

– Sir Ranulph Fiennes