'I don't believe sports really had anything to do with it. And as far as the physical impossibilities are concerned, woud'nt those decrease with technology? I'm sure their sledges are'nt made out of whale bone, or are they? Who is checking their claim out? That was the question.' It has everything to do with sport, and it always has. Apsley Charry-Garrard (the youngest member of Scott's 1910-12 team) described his motivation as follows: 'There is a strong urge to conquer the dreadful forces of nature, and perhaps to get consciousness of ourselves, of life, and of the shadowy workings of our human minds. Physical capacity is the only limit.' No King and Country there. My last expedition was the equivalent of 31 marathons back to back (over the frozen surface of the Arctic Ocean, with a lowest temperature of -48C.) My next expedition will be the equivalent of 69 marathons back to back (or the entire route of the Tour de France). I'm an athlete, not an explorer. Everyone knows where the Poles are nowadays - I'm not skiing along drawing maps. As for verifying my claim(s), there's no governing body. No start/finish line. No checkpoints to ski through. I do, however, carry a CLS Argos beacon in my sledge - http://www.cls.fr/html/argos/aventure/products_en.html - and my daily positions are broadcast on my website for all to see. And you'd need a big freezer to fake this. As for technology making things easier. My sledge is hand-made from carbon fibre and kevlar, but full, it weighs 440lbs (with 120 days of food). Scott's team (with pre-positioned depots and the assistance of dogs, ponies and tractors) were pulling 250lbs each. As for Scott being 'a bumbling amateur', I'm going to use Cherry-Garrard's words again. 'There are those who say Scott should have relied on dogs... the people who talk of these things have no knowledge.' Cheers, Ben
posted by bsaunders at 04:51 PM on July 24
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