A rare blog from expedition co-leader, Sir Ranulph Fiennes:
“Sometimes I am asked what attracts me to Antarctica, this expedition being the third time (hopefully) that I will have crossed it. The Norwegians have a word ‘polarhullar’ meaning ‘polar hunger’, suggesting the Poles and travel to or near them is addictive. For me, I call it normal human urge. The first time I crossed the Antarctic was on skidoos as part of the first vertical circumnavigation of Earth without flying, the second was the first unsupported crossing of the continent. Those were both in summer, and this time I want to put our past experience to go one step further and make this crossing in winter. When once Man reached the moon, he now wants to tick Mars off the list. It’s the same thing,
This expedition will present challenges neither I nor any other human being has experienced or been able to prepare for. We were only able to test our vehicles and clothing at trial temperatures below -58C in cold chambers. And, trials a year ago in North Sweden only produced temperatures down to -42C. So -70C (or maybe -80C or colder) plus darkness and high altitude will be a new experience and challenge for all of us.
We will not be able to rely on our equipment. Technology has changed exploration hugely in different places, but at -70C you cannot expect modern gizmos to necessarily work. If you do you may end up in lethal trouble by reliance on them.
Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned about breaking difficult records is that the key ingredient is luck. We are going to need our fair share of it if we are going to complete this crossing.”