May 20th 2013, Ben Saunders
Captain Scott's last expedition - the most poignant journey of the golden age of Edwardian exploration - remains unfinished to this day.
British adventurers Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere are setting out on an expedition to Antarctica to complete Scott’s 1,800-mile return journey to the South Pole on foot.
Pushing the boundaries of human potential, the Scott Expedition will be the longest unsupported polar journey in history and the next chapter in one of the greatest stories of polar exploration ever told.
About the Expedition
In 1911 Captain Scott’s Terra Nova expedition sparked a fascination with polar exploration that has captured our hearts and minds and transcended generations for more than a century.
Famously he set out to become the first person to reach the South Pole. Tragically he and his team perished just short of their return.
Ben Saunders and his teammate Tarka L’Herpiniere are setting out to honour Scott’s legacy by becoming the first to retrace and complete his original, perilous Terra Nova expedition.
The Scott Expedition is a 1,800-mile (2,900km), four-month unsupported return journey from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole on foot following Scott’s exact route. Equivalent to 69 back-to-back marathons, the team will face temperatures as low as -50 °C and will haul sledge loads of up to 200kg each.
More than just an incredible journey of physical endurance however, the Scott Expedition is a message to the world about challenge.
Inspired by Captain Scott himself, and by expedition patron Robert Swan (2041), this journey is a statement that with the right knowledge, skills and values anyone can pursue their dreams and make a positive change to the future of the planet.
Follow the Scott Expedition blog as Ben Saunders plans and prepares for arguably the most ambitious journey in polar history.
Retracing Scott’s original 1911-12 route, Ben Saunders and Tarka will start at Scott’s Hut on the north shore of Cape Evans on Ross Island. They will traverse the Ross Ice Shelf, before climbing nearly 8000ft on one of the world’s largest glaciers, the Beardmore Glacier, on to the Antarctic Plateau; and onwards to the South Pole. From the Pole it’s back the way they came, finishing 900 miles (1,450km) later exactly where they began – at Captain Scott’s wooden hut.
One of three in history to ski solo to the North Pole (and the youngest to do so by more than ten years), Ben Saunders holds the record for the longest solo Arctic journey by a Briton. He is an acclaimed public speaker, having received almost 1million views for his TED talks online. He is a Global Ambassador for Landrover, an Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust and a Patron of the British Exploring Society.
An accomplished ultra-endurance athlete, adventurer, speaker and filmmaker, Tarka grew up in the French Alps with a love of mountaineering, skiing, climbing and BASE jumping. In 2007, Tarka became the first person to walk the entire length of the Great Wall of China. He has a wealth of experience in the polar regions and in 2009 led the longest crossing of the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap by a British team.
Patron: Falcon Scott
‘It’s just over a hundred years since my grandfather died undertaking this immensely challenging journey in Antarctica and I’m thrilled that Ben and Tarka are setting out to honour his legacy. Expeditions to Antarctica are important to keep alive a sense of adventure and to inspire our young people today to achieve. The Scott Expedition is a magnificent tribute to Scott and his men and I’m delighted to be patron.’
Falcon Scott, grandson of iconic British explorer and leader of the 1911/12 Terra Nova expedition, Captain Robert Falcon Scott.
Patron: Robert Swan OBE
‘No-one has walked this far before in Antarctica – the closest was the 1,600 miles that Scott and his men walked more than a century ago. The Scott Expedition is on the edge of human potential and an incredible physical feat. I’m honoured to support Ben and Tarka in their ground-breaking endeavour and hope people world-wide take inspiration from the fantastic example of tenacity and resilience they are setting.’
Robert Swan OBE, first to walk to the North and South Poles and Founder of 2041.