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A bit of a catch-up on our South Pole plans

It’s been a while since I last wrote about our South Pole plans. Almost a whole year has gone by since Andy, Ben and I postponed SOUTH for a year. During that year the financial world has gone into meltdown. It is difficult to remember a worse time to be seeking corporate sponsorship. It has not been an easy year for us.

Following the postponement, at the beginning of this year Ben decided to try to return to the North Pole for a solo attempt on the speed record following his 2004 trek to the Pole. Reluctant to twiddle my thumbs while he was away, I headed to India. Home again in May we were now too late in the year to find the level of sponsorship we needed for the Grand Plan, so instead we settled on trying for a “short”, “low-budget” one-way speed record attempt on the South Pole; perfect training for the Big One.

But my plans have now changed. Ben has decided that he now wants to go south solo this year. Of course I am disappointed. But I understand his reasoning: it would make him only the second person in history to go solo to both poles, a cool accolade to have! He is also going to try again for the North Pole solo next spring.
I am not ready to head off on a solo polar trip yet so this changed situation leaves me with time on my hands until our planning for SOUTH can re-start once again next May (with the added bonus of Ben’s new experience of conditions in Antarctica). You can follow Ben’s progress towards this winter’s exciting South Pole expedition here.

So, I need to do something in the meantime. It’s time to dust off my atlas, put the kettle on, have a cup of tea and start dreaming and planning something new to keep me out of trouble / get me into trouble until May when I can turn my gaze south once again…
Any suggestions?! Please do leave a comment.

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  1. Mate,

    I have a sack of ideas-give us a yell if you need help. You tell me a continent and I’ll give ten trips!


  2. Bummer about the South Pole trip! But good decision about not trying it solo. I’ve seen some of the people who have arrived at the station after one of those solo treks. They’re completely wrecked. Incidentally, the National Science Foundation, which manages the U.S. Antarctic Program, is thinking about changing the rules for “tourists” at the South Pole … less access to the station and required camping a couple of miles away from the geographic pole.

    Good luck on your next adventure.

  3. Ever considered getting back on the bike…?

  4. Mark salmon Posted

    Your welcome to ride 1200 miles off road through the uk leaves 19th July to 16th august mark

  5. If you enjoyed your last walking trip, maybe you can walk the middle east. Should be a great trip. And doing audio interview. cairo to mossoul !

  6. You wanna jump back on a bike for a couple of weeks come and join me. Or do another walking trip. Iceland in winter or spring maybe?

  7. Why not try something closer to home? Walk the circumference of the British Isles perhaps? I often think of all the places in the world I haven’t visted then realise how many places in the UK there are that I haven’t yet seen.

  8. Ripley Davenport Posted

    Perhaps this is something to consider..?


  9. Hey,

    You seemed to take a lot from canoeing in Alaska :o) Perhaps taking to the water for a journey.

    p.s. Ripley, who posted above, it seems almost morbid signing your post ‘rip’ ;o)

  10. Canada! Jump into a canoe or kayak in Haida Gwaii, Yukon, Kluhanee… Just watch your back for bears and you’ll stay out of trouble.



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