17 January marks 102 years since Scott and his men became the first British explorers to reach the South Pole
- Land Rover and Intel Global Ambassador Ben Saunders with team mate Tarka L’Herpiniere are in Antarctica now setting out to make the first completion of Captain Scott’s ill-fated Terra Nova route
Whitley UK, 17th January 2014 –102 years ago today iconic British explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his team became the first Britons to reach the South Pole. Today, more than 100 years later, two British Explorers – Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere – are in Antarctica on route to making the first completion of his ill-fated Terra Nova route.
On the 1st November 1911 Scott and his five man team set out from Cape Evans (Scott’s Terra Nova Hut) on the 1,800 mile journey from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back. The team traversed the Beardmore Glacier and on 20th December reached the beginning of the polar plateau where upon they laid their Upper Glacier Depot. They reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912 – 102 years ago today – which declared them the first British team to achieve such a feat.
They began their return journey on the 19th January but ran into trouble on the Ross Ice Shelf. Scott’s last diary entry was made on the 29th March 1912, he is presumed to have died soon after. The team was 11 miles short of their final depot (One Ton depot) and only 97 miles short of their journey’s end.
Ben and Tarka’s own journey is aiming to retrace and make the first completion of Scott’s iconic 1910-12 Terra Nova route. They are following Scott’s original 1,800 mile route from the coast to the South Pole and back – a journey that sits right at the limits of human capability. Their endeavour is to honour Scott and his men’s remarkable display of human fortitude by completing the route as well as inspire others worldwide to challenge their own personal limits and realise their own potential.
Speaking from Antarctica, Land Rover and Intel Global Ambassador Ben Saunders said, “More than 100 years on, the achievement of Captain Scott and his men remains among the highest benchmarks of human endeavour. Their incredible display of fortitude in battling the harshest elements on earth to reach the South Pole before embarking on their ill-fated return is a story that has inspired many, including myself, for generations. I’ve always known it’s a journey that sits at the very limits of human endurance – hence my fascination and ambition to retrace and celebrate it. Yet, it’s only now as I follow in Scott’s footsteps that I can really appreciate quite how tough it must have been. Even with the benefits of a century’s innovation, Tarka and I have been and continue to be pushed to our very limits.”
“We have been overwhelmed with the incredible interest and support for us and our journey shown via our blog – a huge boost and a luxury that would have been unthinkable to Scott. Please continue to follow but for today, on the anniversary of Scott and his men becoming the first Britons to reach the South Pole, please also take a moment to remember these inspirational men that have trodden our path before. We feel immensely privileged and proud to be able to honour them and hope you join us in doing so too.”
Expedition patron Falcon Scott, grandson of Captain Scott said, “The Scott Expedition is a truly exceptional and meaningful way to recognise and commemorate my grandfather’s expedition to the South Pole. No one in history has ever walked to the South Pole and back to the coast replicating the route my Grandfather would have taken if he had got back alive. I fully support Ben and Tarka, and admire their resilience and courage in this bold venture. With under a month to go they are doing so well, and I wish them all the best in their last few weeks as they use their final reserves to complete their return journey to the coast. Hopefully they will not experience the extreme freak cold weather on the barrier that finally killed my Grandfather and his party.”
Ben and Tarka have now covered more than 1200 miles (1931km), in 85 days in Antarctica. Like Scott, they too have battled the Beardmore Glacier and Polar Plateau and reached the South Pole on 27th December 2013, 63 days into their journey.
The duo have also experienced similar conditions to those logged by Scott – by day 63 they had battled temperatures as low as -46°C and consumed almost 378,000 calories. The monotony experienced by Scott is echoed by Ben in his diary live from the ice – scottexpedition.com/blog/steady-plodding
Mark Cameron, Jaguar Land Rover’s Global Brand Experience Director, said “The Scott Expedition epitomises the Land Rover spirit of going Above and Beyond. Both the original Terra Nova Expedition and the current Scott Expedition have pushed the boundaries of human fortitude and endeavourto the limit overcoming the unimaginable challenges presented by the most inhospitable continent on the planet.”
“Ben and Tarka’s Expedition has given us the opportunity look back and celebrate the great man that was Captain Robert Falcon Scott and compare the similar extraordinary challenges faced by both teams over 100 years apart. We are able to now look to the future and I have no doubt, celebrate the first ever completion of this remarkable landmark journey.”
Videos detailing Scott’s original feat can be found at:
- Ben on Scott’s 1912 Terra Nova expedition –
- Ben visiting the Scott Polar Research Institute –