Frostbitten Fiennes returns home

2013-03-04 20:02
British explorer Ranulph Fiennes on board the polar vessel SA Agulhas in Cape Town before setting off on the \\The Coldest Journey\\. (AP)

British explorer Ranulph Fiennes on board the polar vessel SA Agulhas in Cape Town before setting off on the \\The Coldest Journey\\. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

London - British explorer Ranulph Fiennes showed off a heavily bandaged hand as he returned home on Monday following his evacuation from Antarctica with severe frostbite, and vowed to help the team he left out there.

The 68-year-old said it was "extremely frustrating" to be pulled off the trip, which if successful would have seen him become among the first people to ski across the world's coldest continent in winter.

He insisted the remaining five members of his team would succeed in their quest to be the first men to conquer Antarctica in winter, and said he would focus on helping them raise their target of $10m for charity.

"I'm not good at crying over spilt milk or split fingers," Fiennes told journalists at London's Heathrow Airport after flying in from South Africa, where he received several days of treatment on his frostbitten left hand.

"I started work on this expedition five years ago. I've been working on it, and nothing else, full time and unpaid - so it is definitely frustrating, but unavoidable," he said.

"I will make the best of it by putting my focus full time onto the expedition team - which of course is going on."

The team are making the epic trek in a vehicle dubbed the Ice Train, made from two snow tractors dragging carriages for scientific research, storage and accommodation.

They are set to start the winter crossing on 20 March. The six-month journey via the South Pole will be mostly in darkness.

"Everything is going totally on schedule," said Fiennes.

No end in sight

The veteran explorer said he would throw his energy into helping the expedition reach its fund-raising target of $10m for the blindness charity Seeing Is Believing.

As for his long-term future, he insisted this would not be his final expedition.

He would like to raise $20m for charity before he retires, he told journalists.

"I would like to do something else to bring that figure up - and it won't be a jumble sale," he joked.

But Fiennes told AFP in an interview that he will probably not attempt to ski across Antarctica again.

"I probably won't because it takes a long time to set up," he said, adding that he would be unlikely to get fresh permission for the challenge because he could "die and become embarrassing to the British government".

The explorer, who is taking strong painkillers for his injuries, said the pain of frostbite "has to be experienced to be believed".

He famously sawed off the fingertips of the same hand himself after suffering severe frostbite on an expedition more than a decade ago.

"I had every reason to suspect that the damage from 13 years ago had completely gone," he told AFP.

He explained he had had no problems with the hand on recent expeditions, so the new bout of frostbite "was very bad luck indeed".

A vascular surgeon in South Africa examined the hand on Monday and believed he would only need surgery on two of the frostbitten fingers, Fiennes added.

The expedition has been dubbed The Coldest Journey, with Antarctica having the planet's lowest recorded temperature of minus 89.2°C.

Previous expeditions have managed to achieve just 37km of the more than 3 200km journey in winter.

Read more on:    ranulph fiennes  |  antarctica  |  uk
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

3 must-do trail runs

If you love trail running, you have to put these on your bucket list.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route
Watch: Insane road bike skills!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Sales Executive

Cape Town CBD
Yuri Arcurs Productions
R6 400 - R20 000 Per Month

Chef de Pastrie

Cape Winelands
Persona Staff

Ass. Financial Manager

Western Cape
Cozens Recruitment Group ( Western Cape)
R55 000 - R62 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

One day only! – 40% off Appliances!

Get 40% off 100’s of appliances at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may prefer to be in charge because then you can call the shots. You are not as flexible as you like to make out to be and you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.