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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Cumbrian explorer joins Sir Ranulph Fiennes for Antarctic mission

AN expedition aiming to be the first ever to cross Antarctica during the polar winter will include a Cumbrian doctor.

'The Coldest Journey' expedition, led by legendary explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, includes Rob Lambert, from Great Asby near Appleby. 

The six-man expedition departs from South Africa on January 2, aboard the ship SA Agulhas, on a two week journey to Crown bay in Antarctica.

The team will then be left on the ice to carry out final preparations, before beginning the expedition at the winter equinox on March 21.

Mr Lambert and the team will cover nearly 2,000 miles over six months, mostly in complete darkness and in temperatures nearing minus 90°C. 

Mr Lambert said: "I’ve just got back from a year in Antarctica where I was doctor at a British Antarctic Survey base there. However, the conditions and temperatures we will experience on this expedition will be quite unlike the ones I encountered there. While I have participated in other expeditions, this will be the longest, and my first where my main role is as team doctor.

“I’m expecting to treat a lot of blisters and athletes foot, and if that was all I had to deal with then I’d be very happy! However, in such extreme temperatures frostbite is a constant risk and could cause significant injury. It’s also surprisingly easy to become very dehydrated in Antarctica as the air is so dry, so we’ll have to take steps to prevent that.

“I’m extremely excited to be a part of such an amazing attempt with such a great team and to do
something that has never been done before.”

The mission is also attempting to raise $10 million for Seeing is Believing, a charity tackling avoidable blindness around the world. All donations will be matched by expedition sponsor, Standard Chartered.

The route from Crown Bay, Dronning Maud Land, to Captain Scott’s base at McMurdo Sound – via the South Pole – is a difficult challenge.

Sir Ranulph will complete the expedition entirely on skis and will be accompanied by alternate members of the Ice Team. While traversing the continent the team will conduct a number of scientific experiments including helping to measure the effects of global climate change on the polar ice caps during Antarctic winter.

The expedition received a send-off from Prince Charles, who visited the expedition ship, the SA Agulhas, before she left London on 6 December after being loaded with supplies and equipment. Expedition trustee Joanna Lumley also attended the send-off event.

Have your say

Way to go Doctor Rob,what a challenge.I'm sure many,including myself,will be praying for you and your team.I hope NWEM will get regular updates.I think you didn't realize you made a joke when you said ;we'll have to 'TAKE STEPS,' to avoid dehydration.The best of British,God bless you all,Godspeed.

Posted by captain bluebirdseye on 24 December 2012 at 10:28

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