Ben Saunders London, UK

  • Record-breaking explorer and long-distance skier
  • One of three in history to ski solo to the North Pole
  • Completed (with Tarka L’Herpiniere) with the longest polar expedition in history

Video

TEDtalk: To the South Pole and back - the hardest 105 days of my life (2014)
TEDtalk: To the South Pole and back - the hardest 105 days of my life (2014)
Meet Ben Saunders, polar explorer (2013)
Meet Ben Saunders, polar explorer (2013)
TEDtalks: Why bother leaving the house? (2012)
TEDtalks: Why bother leaving the house? (2012)

Biography

Ben Saunders is a pioneering polar explorer and a record-breaking long-distance skier, with six North Pole expeditions under his belt. He is one of three in history to ski solo to the North Pole and holds the record for the longest solo Arctic journey by a Briton. Since 2001, Ben has skied more than 2,500km (1,500 miles) in the high Arctic.

Most recently, Ben completed the longest polar expedition in history with fellow explorer Tarka L’Herpiniere (2014), retracing Captain Scott’s ill-fated return journey to the South Pole on foot. This gruelling 1,795mile trek from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back was the first completion of Scott’s planned journey, which was formulated 100 years ago. This courageous expedition required resilience, endurance and sustained motivation to complete as they each pulled heavy sleds for 105 days in challenging conditions.

In spring 2004, Ben skied solo to the North Geographic Pole from the Russian side of the Arctic Ocean, a challenge described by Reinhold Messner as “ten times as dangerous as Everest”. Four solo expeditions set out that year, but Ben was the only one to reach the Pole. He spent 72 days alone, holding the record for the longest solo Arctic journey by a Briton.

When he is not travelling, Ben serves as an Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust, a Patron of the British Schools Exploring Society (BSES), an honorary member of the Cordon Rouge Club, a Fellow of the British American Project, and supports the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the Orchid Cancer Appeal. Ben has also been a global brand ambassador for Land Rover since 2009.

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