After five years of planning and preparation, the time has nearly come for our epic expedition to begin. In less than three days’ time the Ice Team will begin what looks set set to become one of the most historic feats of human endeavour for many years.

To make the first ever attempt to cross the Antarctic during the polar winter official, the Ice Team cannot start the traverse until after the equinox at 1102 GMT on Wednesday, 20th March.

Under the direction of the new Ice Team Expedition Leader, Brian Newham, the traverse will begin at midday on Wednesday, weather permitting. The team will leave the Coastal Camp 2km inland from the water’s edge in Crown Bay that morning and travel by skidoo to the edge of the ice shelf. (Given the great weight of the Ice Train it was unanimously agreed that to take the train to the coast, and thereby significantly increase the risks of an ice collapse, would be foolhardy.)

At 1200 GMT the team will set off south, marking the official start of the expedition. They will re-join the Ice Train by around 1330 to 1400 GMT.