On Friday 7th February at 01.15am British polar explorers Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere re-wrote history as they completed, for the first time ever, the ill-fated journey of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s iconic Terra Nova expedition. Having trekked 1,795 miles across the inhospitable landscape of Antarctica on a journey to the South Pole and back, Ben and Tarka have achieved the world record for the longest polar journey on foot in history.
The journey, which has taken a total of 105 days (just over a quarter of a year!), has pushed the limits of physical and mental fortitude, and reset the bar for polar expeditions of the future. Ben and Tarka hauled sleds with a starting weight of almost 200kg each, and walked on average seventeen miles daily in temperatures as low as -46C.
Ben Saunders said, “It is almost impossible to comprehend what we have achieved. Completing Scott’s Terra Nova expedition has been a life-long dream and I’m overcome to be standing here at the finish. The journey has been a mammoth undertaking that has tested the bounds of our bodies and minds each and every day. At times, we found ourselves in dire straits in the intense cold, wind and altitude of the high plateau, weakened by half-rations and closer to the brink of survival than I had ever anticipated this journey taking us. In that light, both Tarka and I feel a combination of awe and profound respect for the endurance, tenacity and fortitude of Captain Scott and his team a century ago.”
Captain Scott and his men died having covered almost 1,600 miles and this feat had not been surpassed in over 100 years….until now.
Mark Cameron, Director of Brand Experience at Scott Expedition sponsors Jaguar Land Rover, said, “It has been a true privilege for Land Rover to have played a part in this incredible expedition. I have followed Ben and Tarka each day, trying in some small way to live the experience so vividly and eloquently described through Ben’s blog. To complete this journey has taken the very highest levels of physical and mental fortitude as well as a sheer determination to succeed. We all need heroes, incredible individuals or teams to provide inspiration to spur us on to achieve better for ourselves and the people around us. There are few feats of any description that exemplify more appropriately the Land Rover mantra of going Above And Beyond. Congratulations Ben and Tarka!”