In October Ben Saunders leads a three-man team setting out to make the first return journey to the South Pole on foot. At 1,800 miles and four months, Scott 2012 will be the longest unsupported polar journey in history and the first completion of Captain Scott’s ill-fated Terra Nova expedition – Scott2012. Ben is planning an attempt to reach the South Pole, following Scott’s epic 1,800 mile route – a route on which Scott and his team famously perished in 1912. The route remains the longest trans-polar trek ever attempted, and crosses the Ross Ice Shelf, before heading up the Beardmore Glacier (c10,000ft above sea level). At the start of the expedition, Ben and his two teammates will be dragging sleds weighing 200kg, and will set up depots / drops on the way out to ensure a relatively smooth ski home, and arrival back in Blighty in February 2013. Ben, Al and Martin will be carrying all their own food (freeze-dried, of course), fuel and, by the looks of the video from the recent Greenland training exercise, a lot of Nikon camera batteries! The team will have limited access to the Internet via satellite and therefore hope to ‘blog, Tweet and generally keep in touch during their mammoth trek.
Last night I attended a talk by Ben Saunders, Bremont Ambassador and polar explorer, at the new Bremont Boutique. It was the first of a series of regular (monthly-ish) talks by Bremont Ambassadors, explorers, adventurers, designers, etc as part of Bremont’s Explorers Club (not sure that’s the name, but I’ll use it until corrected). The event was well-attended by Ben’s other sponsors – Land Rover, Drum Cussac, etc – and the champagne was supplied by Mumm. Good friends were also present, in the shape of Nick and Giles English, as well as Tim from Fly Navy Heritage Trust (sporting a rather nice P-51). Tim mentioned that they have just received a Supermarine Seafire – but that’s another story. If you haven’t heard of the Trust, please do follow this link to learn more.
Ben was wearing his tried and tested Bremont Supermarine 500 – a watch that’s been used on many of Ben’s recent polar attempts and training expeditions, where the watch (and Ben) have been subject to -48C temperatures. Ben announced that he would be wearing a Bremont during Scott2012 – but that he couldn’t reveal which one. A super-secret new model, perhaps? The new 45mm Supermarine? A weather-sealed and rubber-mounted chrono? Answers on a postcard please – or perhaps a Tweet? As part of the Adventurers’ Club, Ben also signed the new “soapbox”, the occasional speaking platform in the corner of the Boutique.
The #watchnerd wishes Ben, Al and Martin all the best for their trip.