Tuesday, June 27, 2017

British Solider to Attempt to Become Youngest to Ski Solo to the South Pole

The calendar may say that it is late-June, but it is never too early to look ahead to the Antarctic expedition season, which will get underway in November. This year, the ranks of South Pole skiers will include a man by the name of Scott Sears, who will attempt to become the youngest person to ever ski solo and unsupported to the bottom of the world.

Sears, who is a member of the First Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles in the British Army, has been planning this expedition for more than two years now. In November of this year, he will fly from the U.K. to Punta Arenas, Chile, where he'll hop a flight over to Antarctica and embark on a 1100 km (684 mile) journey across the frozen expanse to reach the South Pole. He'll begin at Hercules Inlet and follow the classic route to 90ºS, dragging his 90 kg (198 pound) sled behind him the entire way.

The junior officer is undertaking this expedition for two reasons. First, he wants to become the youngest person to complete the journey solo and unsupported, and second he is hoping to attempting to raise £25,000 ($31,915) for the Gurkha Welfare Trust, an organization that provides support for vets that have served in that venerable and well respected military unit.

As far as I can tell, the current record for the youngest person to ski to the South Pole is held by another Brit. Luke Robertson made the same journey back in 2015-2016 at the age of 30. I haven't been able to track down just how old Sears is, but his website says that he was "born in the 90's," which would lead me to believe that he could be as old as 27 when he launches the expedition later this year. It should also be noted that there have been plenty of people to reach the South Pole that are younger than that, but they haven't done the full distance, nor have they traveled solo on those journeys.

You can find out more about Scott, his life, and the expedition by visiting his website. Of course, in the fall we'll be following the expedition closely as well. Good luck Scott.

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