Solo Trans-Antarctic Crossing Kicks Off


Ben Saunders attempts to make the first ever solo, unsupported and unassisted crossing of Antarctica.

Polar explorer and extreme endurance athlete Ben Saunders has just set off on a massive 1,600km+ solo expedition from Union Glacier camp in Antarctica.

Ben has extensive polar experience, having covered nearly 6,000km of polar terrain on foot since 2001. This quite staggering figure included leading the 2,913km Scott Expedition in 2013/14, setting the Guinness World Record for the longest human powered polar journey.

His latest expedition aims to cross the Antarctic from West to East, starting at Berkner Island and crossing to the Ross Ice Shelf via the South Pole. Ben will be unsupported and unassisted on the journey, hoping to complete the route that his friend Lt Col Henry Worsley nearly completed in 2015/16 before taking ill and passing away in hospital. The journey remains unfinished and Ben would represent the first solo unsupported and unassisted crossing of Antarctica should he prove successful.

Sharing updates via satellite, Ben set out by plane to Berkner island on November 8th. The opening two days have been something of a white-out with “low cloud and blowing snow” creating almost zero visibility. Progress has therefore been slow, with Ben describing navigation as “a lot like trying to walk in a straight line with your eyes shut.” Hopefully Ben’s luck will improve. You can keep up to date with his journey through the expeditions website here.


Ben Saunders: It’s Over!

Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere: South Pole Return Journey 2013

South Pole: Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere End on Day 106

North Pole Ski Update: Ben Saunders Ready to Go; RAF Evacuated


Ben set off on his expedition earlier than expected explaining that "If there';s one thing Antarctica seems to abhor it';s a rigid plan." Source:Ben Saunders

The first couple of days have been a white out. Source:Ben Saunders

About the Author

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh is a freelance writer and wildlife photographer based in Da Lat, Vietnam.

A history graduate from the University of Nottingham, Martin's career arc is something of a smörgåsbord. A largely unsuccessful basketball coach in Zimbabwe and the Indian Himalaya, a reluctant business lobbyist in London, and an interior design project manager in Saigon.

He has been fortunate enough to see some of the world. Highlights include tracking tigers on foot in Nepal, white-water rafting the Nile, bumbling his way from London to Istanbul on a bicycle, feeding wild hyenas with his face in Ethiopia, and accidentally interviewing Hezbollah in Lebanon.

His areas of expertise include adventure travel, hiking, wildlife, and half-forgotten early 2000s indie-rock bands.

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