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Sir Ranulph's Antarctic Trek

Sir Ranulph Fiennes plans to walk across Antarctica in winter Photo: ITV West

Sir Ranulph and his expedition team will leave London on board the expedition’s ice-strengthened research ship on December 6th. Their aim is to complete ‘The Coldest Journey’ – the first-ever trans-Antarctic winter expedition. The Coldest Journey will also attempt to raise $10m for Seeing is Believing, a global charitable initiative to fight avoidable blindness.

On 21 March 2013, the equinox, the six expedition members will begin a six month journey to reach the Ross Sea. Their route from the Russian base of Novolazareskaya (‘Novo’) to Captain Scott’s base at McMurdo Sound – via the South Pole – will test the limits of human endurance. During this six month period the expedition team will travel nearly 4,000 kilometres, mostly in complete darkness in temperatures as low as -90°C.

“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.

“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 FIENNESPreviously, the furthest any expedition has ever ventured into Antarctica during the winter is 60 miles. On this forthcoming journey, Sir Ranulph and his team will aim to cover 2,000 miles in six months, crossing the polar plateau at an average height of 10,000ft above sea level.

Sir Ranulph’s charitable endeavours on past expeditions have raised a total of £15m to date. His attempt to complete The Coldest Journey is the latest in the long line of record-breaking achievements that have seen him become the first man to reach both Poles by surface travel. It also follows his hike to the summit of Everest, where he became the oldest Briton ever to do so. The Coldest Journey represents what may be Sir Ranulph’s final expedition at the age of 68