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By Becky Anderson, CNN, London
I last spoke to Sir Ranulph Fiennes in March last year.
Back then, he told me he had another expedition in the works but wouldn't reveal what it was other than to say it had never been done before and would be extremely cold.
Cold indeed. As it turns out, the British explorer will be attempting the coldest journey on Earth – crossing the Antarctic in Winter.
We are talking more than 3,200 kilometres mostly in the dark at temperatures that can plunge as low as -90 degrees Celsius That's 90 times colder than it was when I woke up in London this morning and that was bitter enough!
So why does this 68-year old die-hard adventurer do it? Frankly, to beat the Norwegians.
The British and the Norwegians have been locked in a kind of polar war for the past 40 years, trying to outdo each other in pioneering expeditions. As Sir Ran put it to me today "it's an addiction. Once you get bitten by polar records, you keep going for it".
But this latest expedition could be the one that breaks the habit. It is after all the last physical challenge remaining after the Norwegians successfully crossed the Arctic in Winter last year.
There is also the question of survival. There is good reason why this is the first such attempt at an Antarctic crossing. Yes, Sir Ran and his small team will be supported by hi-tech vehicles built to cope in extreme environments but they've never been tested in the kind of conditions the expedition is expected to endure and if something does go wrong, the team is on its own. During winter, all rescue services leave the region. It's simply too inhospitable.
But none of that phases our Sir Ran and his intrepid team. They're not only aiming to step into the record books, they're hoping to raise $10 million for Seeing Is Believing, a global charity to prevent blindness.. and of course, to once again fly the British flag.