Breaking news… the BBC are reporting that Sir Ranulph Fiennes has pulled out of his The Coldest Journey expedition due to getting frostbite during a training exercise. They say that “the 68-year-old was injured after a fall while skiing during training at a base camp in Antarctica. He used his bare hands to fix a ski binding in temperatures around -30C. His evacuation to South Africa is being hampered by blizzard conditions. Sir Ranulph is said to be “gutted,” but his five team-mates will still embark on the 2,000-mile (3,219km) trek.”
The expedition is raising funds for charity Seeing is Believing charity and in a statement their spokesman said: “The condition is such that he 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.”
Sir Ran famously sawed off his own fingers when he was told he’d have to wait months for surgery, after getting frostbite on a previous expedition. We wish him all the best and hope that he gets back quickly so he can be treated for his frostbite. We also wish the remaining members of the expedition well as they aim to continue on without the World’s Greatest Living Explorer.