On the 4th November 2002, three young Londoners will fly to the edge of Antarctica and attempt to be the youngest Britons to ever reach the South Pole. On the Centenary of Captain Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton’s historic 1902 ‘Discovery’ Expedition, 26 year old Patrick Woodhead, Andrew Gerber and Tom Avery will undertake the 70 day journey, skiing the equivalent of a double marathon a day.
Pioneering a new system of kites designed by NASA called “Parasails”, the explorers hope to harness the power of the Antarctic winds and sail to the South Pole. Evolved from the dynamic kites used in the fast growing sport of Kite Surfing, the explorers aim to cover distances up to 160miles in a single day. Distances Scott and Shackleton would have taken two weeks to achieve.
To train themselves for this ordeal, both Patrick and Tom have been dragging car tyres around the parks of Central London, much to the bemusement of local dog walkers and tourists. They have also recently returned from Polar training in New Zealand, where they perfected the techniques needed for crevasse escape and igloo building.
They will cover 600 Nautical Miles in temperatures as low as -55 degrees and drag sleds weighing up to 180lbs. Each team member will burn approximately 7-8,000 calories per day and one of their evening meals contains the same calorie content of consuming roughly 56 pints of beer.
The team will be skiing for 10 weeks straight and spending a cold and lonely Christmas on the high polar plateau. Upon returning, Patrick Woodhead willing be writing a book to be published by Hodder & Stoughton called “Misadventures in a White Desert” all about the expedition in Antarctica.