After more than 105 days out on the ice, during which they covered a grueling 1795 miles (2888 km), Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere have completed the Scott Expedition. The journey, which began back in November, was an attempt to follow in the footsteps of Robert Falcon Scott, and finish his Terra Nova expedition, the route that he perished on in the Antarctic more than a century ago.
Ben and Tarka reached their ending point earlier today, but even in their final push back to the coast along the Ross Ice Shelf, things were more challenging than they had expected. After enduring harsh weather, sub-zero temperatures and whiteout conditions for more than three months, the Antarctic decided to test them once more. A final storm delayed their start and tested their resolve to the end. But, the lads are now safe and sound, and more than ready to come home.
An official announcement of their achievement can be read here. We’re told that Ben will post his debrief shortly, although he and Tarka are probably enjoying some much deserved rest in the relative comfort of a polar research station at the moment. Soon they’ll be on their way back home, but for now they are like to be content just knowing they can relax for a time.
The completion of this expedition brings the curtain down on the 2013-2014 Antarctic season. It has certainly been an eventful one filled with all kinds of inspiring adventures. It seems that each year, more and more people are skiing to the South Pole, and while those expeditions have become more common, the challenge is still an incredible one. Congratulations to all of the explorers who traveled in the Antarctic this season. Thanks for inspiring us to chase our own dreams and goals.
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