Opinions seem divided over how best to mark the centenary of Captain Scott’s expedition to the South Pole. Is it a celebration of human endeavour and great courage in the face of ill luck; should it be remembered for its contribution to science; was the Southern journey overly complicated; was it just another heroic British failure ?
One of this season’s most interesting polar projects is the Scott-Amundsen Race. I shall be following their progress with great envy. Expedition leader Henry Worsley wrote these words for me just before the expedition began.
I shall be pondering on those questions as I and five other serving soldiers work our way from the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf to the South Pole over the next two months to celebrate the journeys of Roald Amundsen and Captain Scott.
We have two aims; to mark the centenary of this great polar event and to raise money for the Royal British Legion. We are six soldiers eager to do our bit for our fellow servicemen and women who have been physically and mentally injured on current operations.
The journeys will begin at the original start points; Cape Evans (Scott) and the Bay of Whales (Amundsen). We will then cross the Ross Ice Shelf and head for the Axel Heiberg (Amundsen) and Beardmore (Scott) glaciers. The final push up onto the polar plateau will finish at the South Pole in mid January. It will be an unsupported journey covering 900 miles and we aim to complete both routes in 65 days.
Of note – the polar medal posthumously awarded to Captain Oates will be carried by the Scott team and a moment of remembrance will be marked when the team pass the point where he and others lost their lives.
Do please join us on this journey. Our website, www.scottamundsenrace.org will receive daily audio messages from both teams as the story unfolds. Your support would be hugely appreciated by us all. We are also on Twitter: @Race_tothe_Pole