LONDON, October 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
- Polar explorer Ben Saunders is today bidding farewell to the UK as he sets off on arguably the most ambitious polar expedition in more than 100 years
- A 1,800 mile, four-month, unsupported return journey from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back on foot
- The Scott Expedition will be the longest unsupported polar journey in history and first completion of Captain Scott's iconic 1910-12 Terra Nova expedition
- Ben will share his story with a global audience of millions through latest 4th Generation Intel ® Core™ processor technology that will allow him to capture image and film, upload it via satellite and share the journey online
- Ben's preparation has included use of the Cold Climate Chamber at Jaguar Land Rover and his training programme has taken him across the UK, Europe and to Greenland. The expedition has taken more than a decade to prepare.
British polar explorer Ben Saunders is today bidding his final farewells to the UK from the View from the Shard as he departs for Antarctica on a world record-breaking challenge to accomplish the longest unsupported polar journey in history and first completion of Captain Scott's iconic Terra Nova expedition.
Accompanied by fellow adventurer Tarka L'Herpiniere, the two will set out from Scott's Hut at the edge of Antarctica on foot to take on the 1,800 mile (69 back-to-back marathon) trek across the Ross Ice Shelf, up the Beardmore Glacier and across the Antarctic plateau to the South Pole and back. They will be hauling sleds with a starting weight of 200kg each, containing kit and supplies necessary to survive and will be walking on average 9.5 hours daily, in temperatures down to -50°C. The expedition is estimated to take 110 days to complete and has taken more than a decade to prepare.
"Completing Scott's Terra Nova expedition is a life-long dream of mine and I'm so excited to be standing here today about to embark on the journey with Tarka. Captain Scott and his men died having covered almost 1,600 miles on the Terra Nova expedition, and this feat has never been surpassed. In many ways their journey remains the high watermark of human endeavour in the harshest environment on the planet. Finishing Scott's journey is a mammoth undertaking but as an athlete one that I'm hugely looking forward to, and at the same time using modern technology to celebrate his remarkable story. I'm extraordinarily grateful for the support of Land Rover, Intel and all our partners in making the Scott Expedition a reality," Ben Saunders said.
In every sense a 21st-century expedition, followers can look forward to enjoying Ben and Tarka's journey online in unprecedented detail. Ben is known for pushing the boundaries of communications technology, and has blogged live from his expeditions since 2003. The Scott Expedition will be uploading daily text, images and video (an unsupported expedition first, brought by Intel) from their tent in one of the most inhospitable and inaccessible places on earth.
'We've been working closely with Intel to develop a system that will enable us to share our journey with millions of people worldwide. Sharing the journey has always been important to me and I spend a good chunk of my time when walking thinking about what I'm going to write. It's really exciting to now have the technology to let me share images and video more regularly as well," Ben said.
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 having tested and provided the 4th generation Intel® Core™ processor technology allowing Ben and Tarka to share their journey in unprecedented ways online. Ben and Tarka will be carrying a Sony VAIO® Pro Ultrabook and a Panasonic Toughbook AX2 2-in-1 Ultrabook connected to a modified Iridium Pilot satellite system to provide a new level of internet connection.
Simon Lambden, Intel Senior User Experience Engineer who has been responsible for putting all the technology through its paces over the past six months commented, "We've been pushing the Intel technology to the limits of its endurance, emulating the Antarctic environment as closely as possible. The Ultrabooks that Ben and Tarka will use have been frozen in our thermal 'cold chambers' at -40C, defrosted and operated, then frozen again overnight over the past few months to test their performance when exposed to extended periods of extreme cold.
"We're hugely excited about the stories Ben will share using this equipment on the expedition and wish him the very best of luck in this record-breaking attempt."
Mark Cameron, Land Rover's Global Brand Experience Director said: "The Scott Expedition is an enormous challenge that honours a heroic spirit of adventure that has endured for more than 100 years. There are very good reasons why no one in history has ever completed this epic polar expedition. The Scott Expedition represents perfectly our brand's heritage and the endurance and capability of our vehicles in the toughest environments".
Falcon Scott, grandson of Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Robert Swan OBE, first to walk to the North and South Pole and 2041 Founder are expedition patrons.
Follow the Scott Expedition online:
Website (and blog) - http://www.scottexpedition.com/blog
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/scottexpedition
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/scottexpedition
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TheScottExpedition
Instagram - http://www.instagram.com/scottexpedition
The Scott Expedition is supported by co-presenting partners Intel and Land Rover; expedition partners Kcom and Drum-Cussac; supporting partners Bremont and CF Partners; and supplier partners Mountain Equipment, Field Notes and Hilleberg.
- Ben is best known for skiing solo to the North Pole in 2004, and for blogging live from his expeditions. He is the third in history to ski solo to the North Pole and holds the record for the longest Arctic journey by a Briton
- In his home and work life, Ben drives a Land Rover Discovery. This vehicle enables him to travel to many training locations, as well as providing the space required to house all of his specialist equipment. With the history-making Scott Expedition, he will go further to demonstrate the spirit of "Above and Beyond" that's at the heart of the Land Rover brand
- 1 x 4th Generation Intel® Core™ processor based Sony Vaio Pro Ultrabook™ and 1 x Panasonic Toughbook AX2 2-in-1 Ultrabook™ 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 when it's -40ºC. They're also super-light and have a class-leading battery life.
- 2x 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 to assist with data transfer
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