Land Rover Discovery celebrated 25 years with a first-of-its-kind adventure challenge on Sunday 2nd March. Four of the world’s greatest explorers were brought together for an epic mountain adventure, competing against each other as they took part in the search for Land Rover’s Next Generation Explorer in the Discovery Adventure Challenge, mentoring four promising, young adventurers in a grueling six-part challenge.
Against a backdrop of snow and mountains in Megève, France, The Discovery Adventure Challenge pushed competitors to the limit over 24 hours of tense, testing tasks. Ben Saunders (above right), who, with partner Tarka L’Herpiniere, recently became the first man ever to complete Scott’s notorious Terra Nova Expedition, compered the competition that saw Sir Ranulph Fiennes (above left), Hannah White, Kenton Cool (pictured below) and Eric Loizeau get fiercely competitive as they went head to head in the challenges.
The challenges involved:
1) Two Land Rover Discovery XXVs competing side-by-side through a slalom course down the slope in two tense heats, culminating in a final race.
2) Testing precision and speed, one team member had to drive a Land Rover Discovery XXV around a purpose-built course, whilst the other played marksman, shooting a laser gun at a variety of challenging targets.
3) Physical stamina was put to the test in this grueling task – pulling one of Ben Saunders’ sleds in a race against time.
4) As night fell, the contestants were tasked with creating a fire from scratch and digging their own snow holes to sleep in. Points were awarded for fastest build and warmest hole.
5) The grand finale was a spectacular all-out skiff race across Lake Geneva.
After battling 24 hours of snow, sweat and tears in the mountains of Megeve and having her physical and mental aptitudes tested to their limits, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Bear Grylls crowned Land Rover’s Next Generation Explorer as 22 year old Alex Woodford (above) from Leicestershire. Grylls will now mentor Woodford, a member of the British Exploring Society, as her prize. She was chosen unanimously by the judges after displaying strength, technique and courage throughout the challenges. Woodford said of her win: “I can’t describe how incredibly excited I am to have received the accolade of Land Rover Next Generation Explorer. It was an honour just to tackle the challenges alongside such iconic adventurers as Ranulph and Ben, let alone be selected by them. I am incredibly proud and can’t wait to get started on my next challenge.”