Sir Ranulph Fiennes says he has been left "frustrated" at being forced to pull out of an Antarctica expedition because of frostbite. The adventurer was injured after a fall at a base camp and developed frostbite after taking off his outer gloves in temperatures of -33 celsius.
Speaking after arriving back in the UK, Fiennes explained how the expedition had been five years in the planning.
Prince Charles has given his royal seal of approval to the Ice Team before they embarked upon their mission to walk across Antarctica during the coldest time of the year. The Prince of Wales is the patron of the Antarctic Winter Crossing Expedition 2012.
The six man team who will attempt to walk across Antartica over the next six months have set sail on their ship the SA Agulhas.
Brian Newham, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Ian Prickett, Spencer Swirl, Richmond Dykes and Dr Robert Lambert hope to raise more than six million pounds for charity.
The world's greatest living explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, is receiving a royal send off from Prince Charles as he begins his latest record breaking challenge. He's attempting to become the first person to cross the Antarctic on foot during winter.
The expedition will take place in temperatures as low as -70C, much of it in total darkness. Our Science Editor Lawrence McGinty has been to meet him.
Sir Ranulph and his five-man team will cross the continent during winter over a six-month period. Going with them will be two machines to help carry their equipment.
Celebrity supporter Joanna Lumley joined Sir Ranulph Fiennes by the bank of the River Thames in central London today in the final hours before his expedition across the Antarctic gets underway.
Adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has told Daybreak that it took four years to get a permit to go to the Antarctic in the winter.
He said: "The Foreign Office don't let British subjects down there because there are no rescue facilities on an area bigger than China and India put together
"So if you need rescue you just don't get rescued."
- The name of the expedition is called 'The Coldest Journey'.
- The expedition will begin on 21 March 2013 at the winter equinox.
- It will take six months in total - crossing Antarctica to reach the Ross Sea and has taken 5 years to plan.
- Fiennes is aiming to travel 2,000 miles across the continent over six months, mostly in complete darkness and in temperatures approaching -90C.
- The SA Agulhas will take on board technical equipment and supplies including two 20-tonne tractors, two cabooses, scientific equipment, fuel sleds, specially heated clothing and Antarctic cold weather gear, and a variety of food supplies.
The veteran explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes is to set off on his coldest challenge yet today - a journey across the heart of Antarctica during the winter.
His expedition ship - the SA Agulhas - will receive a Royal send off from the Prince of Wales before it departs later today.
Over a six month period, the team will travel 2,000 miles across the ice, mostly in complete darkness and in temperatures close to -90°C.