Explorer abandons attempt at 'Coldest Journey on Earth' after suffering frostbite

By Scott 0

25 Feb 2013 15:18

The 68-year-old was thought to have exposed his bare hands in temperatures of -30C while trying to fix a ski binding he damaged in a fall

Frostbite: Sir Ranulph FiennesFrostbite: Sir Ranulph Fiennes

PA

Intrepid explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been forced to pull out of a trip across Antarctica after suffering from severe frostbite.

The 68-year-old was thought to have exposed his bare hands in temperatures of -30C while trying to fix a ski binding he damaged in a fall.

He was said to be "gutted" at having to withdraw from the expedition and will now be evacuated to South Africa.

Fiennes' five team-mates will still embark on the 2,000-mile (3,219km) trek from the Russian base of Novolazareskaya to the Ross Sea, the BBC reported.

The team have been raising money for the Seeing is Believing charity, which seeks to tackle avoidable blindness.

In a statement the charity said: "The condition is such that [Fiennes] has very reluctantly decided with the support of the team doctor and in the interests of the success of the expedition and its associated aims, to withdraw from Antarctica while the possibility to do so still exists, before the onset of the Antarctic winter.

"This decision has not been taken lightly and it is, naturally, a bitter blow to Fiennes and his colleagues."

No-one has ever managed to walk across Antarctica in winter, leading the trek to be dubbed 'The Coldest Journey on Earth'.

Sir Ranulph, currently the oldest Briton to reach the summit of Mount Everest, has suffered from frostbite on previous expeditions.

In 2000 he lost fingers during a solo attempt to reach the North Pole.

Tags: World News, Ranulph Fiennes, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Coldest Journey on Earth, World News

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