Ben Saunders attempts the first ever solo unsupported and unassisted crossing of Antarctica in memory of his friend Lt Col Henry Worsley.
In November 2017, record-breaking polar explorer Ben Saunders will set out to make the first solo and unsupported crossing of Antarctica. This west-to-east traverse from Berkner Island to the Ross Ice Shelf via the South Pole and the Shackleton Glacier was planned by Ben’s close friend Lt Col Henry Worsley, who nearly completed the expedition before falling ill and passing away in hospital in Chile in January 2016. The journey remains unfinished.
Marlow Ropes will be supplying 10m of Excel Racing rope for the expedition which is made using Dyneema SK78 which offers high strength, easy handling and exceptional abrasion resistance. Ben will be using this high performance rope for hauling his pulk and will have additional lengths in his personal protection safety kit in the instance of extraction and crevasse rescue.
Paul Honess Sales Director of Marlow ropes commented "We are glad to be supporting Ben again in his attempt to cross Antarctica. Helping him out with this small piece of technical line that will be used for many applications in his attempt shows the versatility of the product. We have supplied Excel Racing before for similar attempts so it has been tested in situations similar to the extremes that he will face."
Ben Saunders is one of the world’s leading polar explorers, and a record-breaking long-distance skier who has covered more than 6,000km (3,700 miles) on foot in the Polar Regions since 2001. In 2014 Ben completed The Scott Expedition – the longest human-powered polar journey in history, and the first completion of the expedition that defeated Captain Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton, a 105-day round-trip from Ross Island on the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back again. Ben was also the third person in history to ski solo to the North Pole, and holds the record for the longest solo Arctic journey by a Briton.
Ben is proud to be supporting The Endeavour Fund, part of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, which supports wounded, injured and sick veterans through providing opportunities in sport and adventurous challenge. Ben is dedicated to continuing the efforts of Henry Worsley, who was raising funds for the Endeavour Fund when he died in Antarctica. Henry’s legacy raised over £500,000 for the charity, and Ben is determined to continue this fundraising in memory of him.
The expedition will start in early November 2017, and Ben’s progress will be broadcast online in real time, at bensaunders.com and on social media (@polarben).
Distance: 1,033 miles
Duration: +/- 65 days alone in Antarctica, including Christmas and New Year
Ambient temperature range: zero to -50 degrees centigrade
Sledge weight: 125kg at start of expedition
Altitude: between sea level and 3,100 metres
Calories consumed: 6,250 per day
Changes of underwear: two