‘Sense of awe’ after adventurer completes Scott’s Antarctic trek

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A British adventurer said he has fulfilled his “life-long dream” after completing Captain Robert Scott’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition.

Ben Saunders, 36, and former Wasps rugby player Tarka L’Herpiniere trekked 1,795 miles from the Antarctic coast to the South Pole and back after following in the footsteps of the famous explorer.

Captain Scott led the first British team to the South Pole on January 17 1912 but died along with his team on the return journey of the Terra Nova expedition.

Mr Saunders and 32-year-old Mr L’Herpiniere, from France, set off from Scott’s Terra Nova Hut on October 25, hauling sleds weighing up to 440lb and experiencing temperatures as low as -46C (-51F) with wind chill.

They reached their finish point at about 1.15am yesterday – 105 days after their journey began.

Organisers say the pair have now achieved the world record for the “longest polar journey on foot in history”.

Mr Saunders, from Plymouth, said: “Both Tarka and I feel a combination of awe and profound respect for the endurance, tenacity and fortitude of Captain Scott and his team, a century ago.”

Captain Scott and his men covered almost 1,600 miles on their South Pole trek in a feat which had never been surpassed in more than 100 years, until today.

Last month Prince Harry, who completed a trek to the southern tip of the globe in December, praised the two men for taking on the challenge of following in Captain Scott’s footsteps.

The pair received their royal message on January 17, the day Captain Scott and his party reached the South Pole in 1912.