Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere: South Pole return journey 2013

Posted: Oct 03, 2013 02:37 pm EDT

 

(By Correne Coetzer, updated Oct 6, 04:13 pm) The two British adventurers, Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere, are leaving the UK today for Punta Arenas in Chile for the start of their South Pole return journey. 

 

They plan to retrace Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated 1911-12 journey from Scott’s hut on the north shore of Cape Evans on Ross Island to the Geographic South Pole and back. Ben and Tarka will traverse the Ross Ice Shelf and get onto the continent near the bottom of the Beardmore Glacier where they will start their uphill sledge-haul on the glacier to the Antarctic Plateau at about 2440m / 8000ft and then push to the Pole at 9300ft. 

 

The men plan to walk on average 9.5 hours per day, with 1.5 hour marches and are expecting to take 110 days to complete their Scott Expedition. They will start off with sleds weighing 200 kg. According to them, they will cover 900 miles (1,450km) from their start point to the South Pole. 

 

This will be the third attempt to retrace Scott’s return journey [Ed note Oct 6, 04:13 pm correction: not the first attempt as previously stated]. If successful it will be the longest ski expedition without kites on Antarctica. 

 

Ben and Tarka will fly from Punta Arenas to ANI’s base camp, Union Glacier (79° 45'S, 083° 14'W), on Antarctic from where they will be flown to their start point at Cape Evans.

 

Saunders has extensive experience with North Pole expeditions and L’Herpiniere has done an expedition on the Southern Patagonia Ice Cap. 

 

Scott and his team mates, Evans, Oats, Bowers and Wilson reached the South Pole on January 17, 1911 and all died on their return.

 

In the 1985-86 season Gareth Woods, Roger Mear and Robert Swan did the route from Cape Evans to the South Pole in 69 days.

 

In the 2011-12 Centenary Year the route from Cape Evans was done by Mark Langridge, Kevin Johnson and Paul Vicary, who has covered 1375 km in 75 days.

 

Also in the 2011-12 season, Norwegian solo skier,  Alexander Gamme, and Australian duo, Justin Jones and James Castrission, did a return journey from the coastal start point at Hercules Inlet to the Pole, 2260 km in a straight line. These two expeditions are the only return journey’s to date from a coastal start point and were done unassisted and unsupported.

 

In the 2011-12 season Eric McNair-Landry and Sebastian Copeland did a ski and kite-ski expedition from Novolazarevskaya Base to the Pole of Inaccessibility to the Geographic South Pole to Hercules Inlet, a distance of  3620 km (in straight line).

 

The same season Dixie Dansercoer and Sam Deltour did a circular kite-ski expedition of 5130 km.

 

Follow the 2013 Scott Expedition blog updates in the live News stream on ExplorersWeb and the Pythom app. 

 

 

Previous/Related:

 

Captain Scott's Antarctica, January 17, 1912: The Pole, yes, but not as expected

 

South Pole anniversary final: March 29, 1912

 

South Pole anniversary 100 years ago: Three bodies in a snowed-up tent

 

South Pole 100 years ago: The World learns about Scott's fate

 

AdventureStats

 

South Pole 2013-14: Doug Stoup and Parker Liautaud for Leverett Glacier route

 

Cycle South Pole update: testing and innovation

 

ExWeb interview with Juan Menendez Granados: the greatest challenge

 

Married couple for South Pole 2013-14

 

Australian Mawson Centenary Expedition update

 

Michele Pontrandolfo turning his compass South 

 

ExWeb South Pole 2013 interview with Geoff Wilson, "my mind I feel will be the greatest maze of all"

 

ExWeb South Pole kick-off interview: Daniel Burton, return cycle journey

 

Adventure Network International (ANI)

Antarctic Logistics Centre International (ALCI)

 

Scott Expedition 2013 pages:

 

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#polar #Southpole2013 #bensaunders #tarkalherpiniere #scottexpedition #antarctica #capeevans

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Saunders and Tarka L Herpiniere
courtesy Scott Expedition 2013, SOURCE
The route from Cape Evans to the Geographic South Pole (90S) shown here in pink. They will attempt to retrace Scott’s return journey back to Cape Evans.
courtesy ExplorersWeb, SOURCE
Scott's 1911-12 route
courtesy National Library of Scotland, SOURCE
Video
courtesy Scott Expedition 2013, SOURCE
Video: Ben talks about their clothes.
courtesy Scott Expedition 2013, SOURCE

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