Posted on 28 02 2013
The journey home begins
After days of waiting for improvements in the weather, Sir Ranulph Fiennes finally began his long journey back to England this morning. Despite winds of around 20knots and temperatures at -18C, a team from the Belgian International Polar Foundation managed to reach the Ice Train at around 8am (GMT) and transport him north to the Princess Elisabeth Station.
It is planned that he will depart Princess Elisabeth with the Belgians who intend to fly to Russian-run Novolazarevskaya Station (Novo), an Antarctic research station which has an airstrip, later this afternoon. All being well, the group will fly from Novo to Cape Town late this evening. Upon arrival in Cape Town the priority will be for Fiennes to receive medical treatment for his frostbite injury, before he flies back to the UK.
Traverse Manager Brian Newham said that the rest of the team would do everything in their power to make Fiennes proud of them by becoming the first people in history to cross the Antarctic in winter. He said: “All of us here know that without Ran’s vision, commitment, hard work and years of effort that none of us would be here now. Ran’s departure a short while ago marked another key moment in our
journey and it was one that we never expected, but we are a strong and united team. We are as determined as ever to move forwards and to push the boundaries and while we do so we hope that we will continue to inspire and to draw attention to our chosen charity of Seeing is Believing.
“Although Ran is no longer physically with us we carry his determination and incredible spirit forward and we hope that he will be proud of what we achieve.
“It is now only a few hours since we said our difficult farewells but we are already moving south and are poised to gain the polar plateau. Onwards.”