The historic endeavor, sponsored primarily by Land Rover and Intel, was more than 10 years in the making, and required the two men to trek for 105 days on a 1795-mile journey across the Antarctic ice cap. In reaching the finish line, Ben and Tarka have survived the longest polar journey on foot in the history of exploration.
Writing modestly in the October 2013 issue of LRO, expedition leader Ben wrote: ‘As camping trips go, it’s quite a big one!’ But today, as the reality of his team’s accomplishment sinks in, his sense of relief and celebration is palpable. ‘It is almost impossible to comprehend what we have achieved,’ he said this morning. ‘Completing Scott's Terra Nova expedition has been a life-long dream and I'm overcome to be standing here at the finish. The journey has been a mammoth undertaking that has tested the bounds of our bodies and minds each and every day.’
And that’s no understatement. Ben and Tarka hauled sleds with a starting weight of almost 200kg each, and walked on average 17 miles every day with wind chill dropping temperatures as low as -46oC. Some days they achieved almost 25 miles; that’s almost a complete marathon, day after day, on ice, in frozen, lethal conditions.
‘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,’ says Ben. ‘In that light, both Tarka and I feel a combination of awe and profound respect for the endurance, tenacity and fortitude of Captain Scott and his team, a century ago.’
Mark Cameron, Director of Brand Experience at Jaguar Land Rover, said: ‘It has been a true privilege for Land Rover to have played a part in this incredible expedition. To complete this journey has taken the very highest levels of physical and mental fortitude as well as a sheer determination to succeed. We all need heroes.’
Read more by visiting the Scott Expedition's website