Land Rover backs Antarctic expedition
June 7, 2013
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In the footsteps of Captain Scott
Robert Falcon Scott, who lost his life in the ill-fated Terra Nova mission to the South Pole just over a century ago, is being honoured through a recreation of his epic journey by a modern explorer using modern equipment. British explorer and Land Rover Global Brand Ambassador Ben Saunders, accompanied by professional adventurer Tarka L’Herpiniere, aims to be the first to accomplish the return polar journey using the route of Scott’s heroic attempt.
The 3 000 km trek will be the longest unsupported polar expedition yet made. Equally, it will set new benchmarks in the use of high-tech digital equipment that will enable the pair to send film, images and social media updates direct from Antarctica.
It is the latest challenge for Ben, one of Britain’s most accomplished and experienced explorers. He has been a Land Rover Global Brand Ambassador since 2008 and was supported by the company in another expedition he made that year, a bid to break the speed record for a solo ski journey to the North Pole. The latest expedition has the support of Captain Scott’s family too, with his grandson, Falcon Scott as one of its patrons.
As a 21st century explorer, Ben has much more sophisticated equipment and technology to help him reach his goal than Scott and his team could ever have imagined, from advanced clothing materials and equipment, to communications devices that can provide instant contact with the outside world and ensure precise geographic location. The expedition’s “transport” will be a pair of lightwieight sleds on which Ben and Tarka must haul everything they need to make their journey – each carrying 200kg of food and equipment. The custom made sleds use carbon fibre to keep overall weight down and to withstand the rigours of extreme low temperatures and rough ice terrain.
Although Land Rover vehicles will not play a physical role in Antarctica, they are highly valued by Ben as his transport of choice for all types of occasion – with the versatility to carry all the kit he needs to remote training areas, and play a supporting role in his projects.
Mark Cameron, global brand experience director sat Land Rover, says: “I have huge admiration for Ben and Tarka as their expedition will demand the highest levels of physical and mental fortitude and sheer determination to succeed.. The Scott Expedition is an enormous challenge that honours a heroic spirit of adventure that has endured for more than 100 years, there are very good reasons why no one in history has ever completed this epic polar expedition. We are pleased to support Ben Saunders and the expedition team in their exceptional ambition; it represents perfectly our brand’s heritage and its vision for endurance and achievement in the toughest environments.
“Ben is a true ambassador for Land Rover and the Scott Expedition promises to reinforce his status as a worthy successor to Captain Scott and the other great polar explorers in history.”
Ben Saunders and a pair of Discovery 4s at the Scott memorial in London