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 . world ski news
18 November 2011 - 10:18
A World Apart: The Polar Adventurers Inspired By Captain Scott
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RED BULL VIDEO. A hundred years ago Captain Robert Falcon Scott set off for the South Pole on the ill-fated Terra Nova expedition. Here are a few more intrepid souls who have followed his terrifying example...


© Captain Scott

A lot has changed since Scott started marching south on November 1, 1911. For a start, it's a hell of a lot easier to get to that icy continent that it once was. Lest we forget, Scott's ship got stuck in ice for 20 days before they'd even begun their adventure proper.

After that, the team had to put up with frostbite, snow blindness, hunger, exhaustion, you name it, before reaching the South Pole on January 17, 2012 – only to discover that Norway's Roald Amundsen had got there five weeks before them. 'Great God! This is an awful place,' was how Scott described the place in his diary shortly before he came to a sticky end on the return march. Not the happiest of expeditions, all told.

Still, his words have had very little off-putting effect on Scott's fellow adventurers. Here are just a few others who've gone to great lengths to do the undoable in both the Arctic and Antarctica...

The Endurance Expedition

The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-17 is second only to Captain Scott's Terra Nova trip in the blockbuster exploration stakes. Led by Sir Ernest Shackleton, the trip was supposed to be the first land crossing of Antarctica. They didn't make it in the end but they did survive and became famous for their supreme endurance. The team had planned to walk from Vahsel Bay on the Weddell Sea to Ross Sea on the other side, but their ship got stuck in ice leaving the men stranded in makeshift camps before Shackleton set off for help in an open boat.

Jumping jimminy!

Since the end of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, things have got a little more hi-tech and extreme. Red Bull's own Valery Rozov has thrown himself off of some towering peaks, including Mont Blanc. But jumping off Antarctica's 2,931m-high Mount Ulvetanna, which was only scaled for the first time in 1994, required steelier balls than usual.

Boat over troubled water

English-born, New Zealand-raised sailor David Henry Lewis was the first man to attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica single-handedly in 1972. The Polynesian scholar, fascinated by ancient voyaging techniques, sailed his small Ice Bird yacht to the Southern Ocean... and then wasn't heard of again for 13 weeks. Eventually he did make it to Antarctica, repaired his damaged boat and then carried on with his journey, only to be capsized again. He had to give up in the end, bless him.

Cool running

Ultra-marathon runner Ryan Sandes won last November's Last Desert race in Antarctica – a self-supported 250km race across the White Continent. Fifty-six runners faced gale-force blizzards, knee-deep snow, extreme temperatures and were shipped to the different course locations as and when ice and weather permitted. 'Running in snow... that’s a whole new thing for me,' said Ryan, who trained for the event in the French Alps. A bit of an understatement that, we'd suggest.


© Craig Kolesky/Red Bull

Snow down!

Swedish Red Bull athlete Daniel Bodin is a snowmobile superstar and after achieving nearly everything in his chosen sport he took his Polaris mobile deep into the Arctic circle to set a new record for the highest backflip. Check him out here...

Encounters at the End of the World

For anyone who still doesn't think the Arctic, or Antarctica in particular, is a grimly foreboding place, just watch Werner Herzog's hypnotic film Encounters at the End of the World. It's a documentary about the people who call the continent home, diving under the ice to witness fish that look more like ghostly apparitions, or escaping their old lives, like the man who always has a bag packed (complete with inflatable canoe) lest even this inhospitable place take the fancy of an evil autocrat. And penguins that get tragically lost. It doesn't exactly make the place look welcoming.

by Chris Parkin
RedBull.com
Nov 2, 2011


 
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Next:
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