Henry aimed to complete the first ever solo unsupported and unassisted crossing of the Antarctic landmass but was airlifted off the ice just 120 miles short of completing his attempt. He sadly died on January 24th, 2016.
The latest expedition, called South Pole Expedition Army Reserves (SPEAR17), will be led by Lou Rudd, who reached the South Pole on a previous expedition with Henry in 2012. It will be an effort to reach the South Pole, with a team of six soldiers from 1 Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) Brigade, which will then continue along the Shackleton Glacier and complete Henry’s route. The team will start at Hercules Inlet, and set out on a 730-mile unsupported trek to the South Pole. Upon reaching the Pole, the team will conduct an assessment to see if it’s safe and realistic to continue, and will take on a resupply.
Lou Rudd said: “Once we reach the Pole, we hope to push on as a tribute to the legacy of Henry Worsley. We will attempt a further 400-mile unsupported journey across the Polar plateau to the Shackleton Glacier, finishing at the Ross Ice Shelf.”
Setting out on October 27 2016, the expedition has been planned down to the last detail, from how many calories each member will need to consume daily, to the application of the latest innovations in equipment and technology.
It is the first time such an attempt has been made, and it will cover more than 1,100 miles of Polar wilderness.
Lou Rudd said: ‘Bold and ambitious projects such as SPEAR17 require significant support and funding to make them a reality. Without the backing of our many sponsors this epic expedition would not be possible. The entire SPEAR17 team would like to express their gratitude to the Ulysses Trust for their incredible generosity and the knowledge that so many people believe in us will spur us on as we inch our way across the polar wilderness towards our goal’
Team members Ollie Stoten, Alex Brazier, Jamie Facer-Childs, Chris Brooke and Alun George are all undertaking the rigorous trip, during which the team will haul their food, clothing and shelter for their journey on the ice in specially made pulks (sledges).
SPEAR17 is supporting ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the national charity of the British Army, to raise awareness and funds as a consequence of the trip, and is hoping to raise £100,000.
Robin Bacon, Chief of Staff at The Soldiers’ Charity said: “This is a remarkable feat of human endurance. No-one should underestimate the enormity of the task ahead of this team, both physically and mentally. We’re incredibly grateful that they’ve chosen to be associated with us.”
Adventurer Ranulph Feinnes, patron of the expedition, said: “I wish the team every success and look forward to monitoring their progress as they inch their way across the polar wilderness.”
To contribute towards the Spear 17 fundraising target and to make a donation to The Soldiers’ Charity visit the Spear 17 Just Giving page.