He's back with a daring plan to complete the expedition that defeated Scott and his team 92 years ago
British yachtsman Pete Goss has announced his new project, confirming long-running rumours that he is planning to tackle some ‘icy’ adventures. He is to join forces with polar explorer Alan Chambers to complete the walk to the South Pole and that was so tragically attempted by Captain Robert Scott on his second expedition in 1911.
The expedition will raise money for a charity aimed at helping some of the 12 million children orphaned by AIDS in Africa.
Pete Goss, 41, has been in hibernation since the high-profile failure of his daring catamaran, Team Philips, and the bankruptcy of a number of business ventures, and the public comeback of this charismatic man will no doubt be warmly welcomed. He says: “Scott’s story has captivated millions with its honest and pragmatic dignity in the face of unrelenting Antarctic odds. Ninety two years later his Challenge remains.
“We aim to complete his route and believe that, out of respect, a team flying the Union Jack should be the one to do so. During the arduous journey we pull our sledges with two main motivations to complete Scott’s Challenge and to raise money for HopeHIV, the project’s charity.”
Goss’s expedition partner, Alan Chambers, also a former Royal Marine, has completed six major expeditions in sub zero temperatures. Most recently, 34 year old Alan planned and led the first successful British unassisted walk to the Geographical North Pole from the Canadian coastline, laden with 250lb sledges. The trip lasted 70 days. The Taunton-based adventurer was awarded the MBE in 2001 for leadership and determination in such adversity.
Chambers added: “There are very few firsts left in polar exploration. This project can only happen once. My past polar expeditions give us knowledge of the conditions that we are likely to face. It is important to us to use this project to make a difference. We hope that we can raise a substantial amount for HopeHIV.”
The pair will travel from McMurdo station on the coast of the Antarctic continent to the South Pole and back using a pulk (man-pulled sledge) and kite system. It is a trek of some 1,400 nautical miles – further than from London to Rome and back. Given the short polar season, the team have a three-month weather window to complete the challenge, from the beginning of November 2003 to the end of January 2004.
Training started in earnest with an expedition covering the last degree to the North Pole in April 2003. In July Goss and Chambers will undertake a 17-day expedition to cross the Greenland icecap. Later the team will go to the Alps to climb Mont Blanc and undertake crevasse training.
We’ll have more on this story in our July issue, published on 12 June.