Battersea explorer "in awe" of Captain Scott after breaking South Pole record

Wandsworth Guardian: Bem Saunders and Tarka L'Herpiniere Bem Saunders and Tarka L'Herpiniere

A Battersea explorer has broken the South Pole trek record after emulating Captain Robert Scott's journey more than a century ago.

Ben Saunders, 36, and expedition partner Tarka L'Herpiniere, 32, reached their destination in the early hours of this morning after spending the last three months pulling 200kg of equipment more than 1,800 miles.

By just u ndertaking the gruelling challenge, the indefatigable pair became the first expedition to even attempt Capt Scott's remarkable journey.

They completed the journey at 1.15am this morning and in doing so broke the record for the longest polar journey on foot in history.

The two men, who endured freezing temperatures and walked an average of 17 miles each day, have become the first people to overcome the trek since 1912.

Speaking after completing the journey, Mr Saunders said: "I am extraordinary relieved to have taken off my skis for the last time to be able to sit down and rest.

"Although it is still sinking in, we are both over the moon to have completed our expedition and in turn Captain Scott’s journey."

"It is almost impossible to comprehend what we have achieved. This expedition has been a life-long dream.

"It 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 Capt Scott and his team, a century ago."

Capt Scott attempted the same expedition in 1912 but was beaten to the South Pole by a Norweigan team led by Roald Amundsen.

The team then faced a horrific return journey that they did not survive because the whole team perished just 11miles short of their largest food depot and have gone down in history for their attempt.

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