LONDON, February 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
British polar explorer Ben Saunders and his team-mate Tarka L'Herpiniere have today returned to the UK, celebrating the end of their world record-breaking Antarctic expedition. Members of both their own and Captain Scott's families gathered at Heathrow airport to mark the historic occasion.
The duo re-wrote history this month as they completed, for the first time ever, the ill-fated journey of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's iconic Terra Nova expedition. Having trekked 1,795 miles across the inhospitable landscape of Antarctica on a return journey to the South Pole and back, in doing so they have also achieved the world record for the longest polar journey on foot in history.
Ben Saunders said, "To be able to accomplish a lifetime ambition is such a privilege and I can't believe the journey that I've been working towards for more than 10 years now is complete. "
"To be greeted by such warmth and support is overwhelming. I knew that we had a fantastic community following us online but to be home and hear what this journey has meant to people all over the world really does drive home its significance."
The Scott Expedition, which has taken a total of 105 days (just over ¼ of a year), has pushed the limits of physical and mental fortitude and reset the bar for polar expeditions of the future. Ben and Tarka hauled sleds with a starting weight of almost 200kg each and walked on average 17 miles daily in temperatures as low as -46oC wind chill.
"This journey has pushed us to our very outer physical and mental limits. For the last four months the furthest I've thought is mustering the energy and strength to take the next step. To make it through an 80 minute session became the greatest of achievements. In that light, both Tarka and I feel a combination of awe and profound respect for the endurance, tenacity and fortitude of Captain Scott and his team, a century ago - and incredibly lucky to be honouring their memory."
"It would not have been possible without the support of my family, friends and fantastic partners and I can't thank you all enough, in particular Land Rover and Intel, who have been instrumental in making the Scott Expedition a reality", he continued.
Land Rover and Intel are co-presenting partners of the Scott Expedition and have both played an important role in facilitating the expedition. Land Rover having assisted Ben in his training which has taken him to many inaccessible places across the UK, Europe and Greenland; and Intel provided Ultrabooks powered by its latest 4th generation Intel® Core[TM] processor technology allowing Ben and Tarka to share their journey with the world along the way in their daily blog (http://www.scottexpedition.com/blog). Intel put the technology through its paces over several weeks prior to Ben and Tarka's departure by freezing the Ultrabooks at temperatures of -40C.
Mark Cameron Jaguar Land Rover Director, Brand Experience " It has been a true privilege for Land Rover to have played a part in this incredible expedition. I have followed Ben and Tarka each day, trying in some small way to live the experience so vividly and eloquently described through Ben's blog. To complete this journey has taken the very highest levels of physical and mental fortitude as well as a sheer determination to succeed."
"We all need heroes, incredible individuals or teams to provide inspiration to spur us on to achieve better for ourselves and the people around us. There are few feats of any description that exemplify more appropriately the Land Rover mantra of going 'Above and Beyond'. Congratulations Ben and Tarka."
Commenting on Intel's support of the Scott Expedition, Patrick Bliemer, Regional Manager for Intel Northern Europe, said: "Congratulations to Ben and Tarka for this enormous achievement. We are honoured to have played a small part in this record-breaking Scott Expedition. We are incredibly proud that Intel technology helped them to share their experiences with people around the world - this unprecedented access is the first of its kind and one which will change the future of expeditions to come."
Falcon Scott, grandson of Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Robert Swan OBE, first to walk the North and South Pole and 2041 Founder are expedition patrons.
Follow / re-live the Scott Expedition online:
Website (and blog) - http://www.scottexpedition.com/blog
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/scottexpedition
Twitter - @scottexpedition
Facebook - TheScottExpedition
Instagram - scottexpedition
Notes to editors
- Iconic British explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott led the first British team to reach the South Pole on 17 January 1912 on the Terra Nova expedition. He died along with the last of his South Pole team, Dr Edward Wilson and Lieutenant Henry ("Birdie") Bowers, on 29 March 1912 in Antarctica on their return journey. They died having covered almost 1,600 miles and this feat has never been surpassed in over 100 years, until now.
- Ben Saunders is a pioneering polar explorer. One of only three people in history to have skied solo to the North Pole (a challenge Reinhold Messner called "ten times as dangerous as Everest"). At the age of 26, Ben was the youngest explorer to complete this by more than ten years. He achieved this feat in 2004, in conditions NASA called "the worst since records began", and in doing so set the record for the longest solo Arctic journey by a Briton. No one has repeated this journey since.
- The Scott Expedition is supported by co-presenting partners Land Rover and Intel; expedition partners Kcom and Drum-Cussac; supporting partners Bremont and CF Partners; and supplier partners Mountain Equipment, Field Notes and Hilleberg.
- 1 x 4th Generation Intel® Core™ processor based Sony Vaio Pro Ultrabook™ and 1 x Panasonic Toughbook AX2 2-in-1 Ultrabook™ were used to blog daily and regularly send back content for the Scott Expedition YouTube channel. The Ultrabooks have SSD memory, so no moving parts to go wrong in the extreme temperatures of -46ºC. They're also super-light and have a class-leading battery life.
- 2 x custom 62-watt folding solar panels and 3x lithium-polymer battery packs using Antarctica's 24-hour daylight to power the technology.
- Iridium Extreme Satellite phone - the phone handles calls, messaging and data transmission
- Iridium Nano tracker - an always-on tracking beacon that automatically sends their GPS coordinates back to Ben's UK-based support team on an hourly basis
- Iridium Pilot (modified) - mobile satellite hub assisted with data transfer
About Land Rover
Since 1948 Land Rover has been manufacturing authentic 4x4s that represent true breadth of capability across the model range. Defender, Freelander, Discovery, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover and Range Rover Evoque each define the world's 4x4 sectors. Land Rover products are currently sold in 178 global markets.
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world's computing devices. Additional information about Intel is available at newsroom.intel.com and blogs.intel.com.
Intel, the Intel logo, Core and Ultrabook are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the United States and other countries.
* Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.