The Scott Expedition: Tales from Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere

I attended a fantastic event last night at the Royal Geographical Society, hearing from Ben Saunders who has recently completed the longest polar expedition in history with fellow explorer Tarka L’Herpiniere.

After a humorous introduction from Alastair Humphreys, who was originally meant to have journeyed with Ben but pulled out for family reasons, Ben told the story of how he and Tarka completed Captain Scott’s iconic yet ill-fated expedition for the first time. This gruelling 1,795mile trek from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back involved pulling sleds weighing 200kg for 105 days in challenging conditions.

This was followed by an insightful Q&A where it was made clear that although the experience was “humbling”, the explorers were most looking forward to getting on with the mundane aspects of normal life, such as “drinking from a cup or getting water from a tap.”

When asked “What’s next?”, Ben replied that he had a few ideas floating in his head, but he was just happy to be home. That being said, he is travelling to Majorca this weekend with his girlfriend where they will be training for her attempt to cycle round the world. No rest for the wicked…

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