After one of the Ice Team’s two mechanics had to pull out of the expedition for personal reasons a month ago, we have been looking for a suitable replacement. Today, the four short-listed candidates from Finning UK are here at Millbrook for a series of tests and interviews, to see who’s the best choice for the expedition. As well as having to be highly trained in the use and maintenance of Caterpillar D6Ns and have a genuine desire to brave the Antarctic in winter, the selectors will be looking for someone who will be a positive addition to the team on a personal level. Spending more than six months together in one of the most hostile environments on earth will put huge pressure on the members as individuals; having a team who are comfortable in each other’s presence is crucial.
I feel for these guys. They are under extreme pressure today, competing to take part in a life-changing experience which will be extremely tough, long and completely unpaid – and which for each of them is their ultimate dream. Only one of them will make it.