Tune in at 16:00 London, 19:00 UAE

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Journey to the cold

Journey to the cold
December 6th, 2012
02:00 PM ET

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.

Click this link to find out more about Fiennes' remarkable journey.


Filed under:  Entertainment • General
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. ethan

    That's amazing. A 60+ yrs old man in China usually stay at their home and play with (or take care of) his grandson. For those who are almost 70 yrs old, you will expect nothing more than they could take care of themselves.

    December 7, 2012 at 3:15 am | Reply
  2. Kb

    90 times colder?! Math fail?

    December 7, 2012 at 4:28 am | Reply
  3. Rev Dr Felix Nwosu

    RISK TAKER'S GOD SHALL MAKE IT FOR YOU A SUCCESS. YOU AND YOUR TEAM SHALL GO AND COME BACK IN PEACE I NO THAT AND I FILL IT IN MY SPIRIT GOOD LUCK MAN SIR RAN AND HIS TEAM.

    December 7, 2012 at 4:56 am | Reply
  4. M I Snow

    "That's 90 times colder than it was when I woke up in London this morning and that was bitter enough!" – what an idiotic comment... juts because if was -1C in London does not, in way shape or form mean that -90C is 90 times colder...

    December 7, 2012 at 4:58 am | Reply
  5. jpd

    Sir. Ranulph's name is pronounced "Sir. Ralph Fiennes" and his cousin's name is Ralph Fiennes pronounced "Rafe" Fiennes. They´re both descended from the first Lord Marcher, Ralf, which is a Norman French name. There must someday be a movie made about this Sir. Ranulph because the love story between his first wife and him is the most inspiring part of his life.

    December 7, 2012 at 6:01 am | Reply
  6. redboots08

    I'm Dreaming to the cold...

    December 7, 2012 at 6:58 am | Reply
  7. dcoaster

    It's summer in Antarctica... Remember the two hemispheres?

    December 7, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
  8. Schris

    It isn't "90 times colder". Temperature is measure on a scale from absolute zero. I won't explain it here, but just keep this in mind. It for sure is VERY cold, but can't be described this way.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
  9. stef

    global warming is rising... should be an easy trip ;)

    December 7, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
  10. GB

    90 degrees colder, not 90 times colder. Obviously written by someone that's illiterate in math or science.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:06 am | Reply
  11. Sarah Williams

    I agree with JPD, and because of that story I follow this man's adventures with great interest and excitement – and insist on travelling with my own explorer, at least part of the way.

    December 7, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  12. ray thompson

    Having Been On A TransAntarctic Crossing In The Southern Summer I.e. Our English Winter, In Our Constant Daylight ExpeditIon We Experienced -36C With Wind Chill Of -47C These Were Bad Enough, The Coldest Journey Will Be Traveling Through The Antarctic Winter In 4 Months Of Total Darkness With The Potential -90C And Wind Chill On Top Of That, People Keep Talking Of Maths And Formulas This Is Real Life AnD Death Stuff , No Plane Can Land In Antarctica When The Temperature Is -50.5C So No Chance Of A Quick Fly In Rescue. Good Luck To These Adventurers.

    December 9, 2012 at 11:08 am | Reply
  13. lvadmaker

    Having been on a transantarctic crossing ( http://www.transantarcticexpedition.com/) in the southern summer i.e. our english winter, in our contstant daylight expedition we experienced -36C with the wind chill this was -47C these were bad enough. The Coldest Journey will be travelling through the Antarctic winter in 4 months of total darkness, with the potential -90C and wind chill on top of that. People keep talking maths and formulas , this is Real life and death stuff, no plane can land in Antarctica when the temperature drops below -50.5C let alone in the Antarctic night, so no chanceof a quick fly in rescue.
    Good luck to these Adventurers.

    December 11, 2012 at 9:41 am | Reply
  14. lvadmaker

    Having been on a transantarctic crossing ( http://www.transantarcticexpedition.com/) in the southern summer i.e. our english winter, in our contstant daylight expedition we experienced -36C with the wind chill this was -47C these were bad enough. The Coldest Journey will be travelling through the Antarctic winter in 4 months of total darkness, with the potential -90C and wind chill on top of that. People keep talking maths and formulas , this is Real life and death stuff, no plane can land in Antarctica when the temperature drops below -50.5C let alone in the Antarctic night, so no chanceof a quick fly in rescue.
    Good luck to these Adventurers.

    December 11, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 313 other followers