skiing solo across Antarctica: A former member of the Royal Navy has embarked on a global challenge to ski solo across Antarctica, which will take two-and-a-half months to complete and cover more than 2,000km on a route that has never been done before.
Sam Cox, from Torquay, Devon, is hoping to complete the longest unsupported solo crossing of the continent and after a 15-day delay in Chile waiting for a favorable weather window, he has only 78 days to complete the 1,250 continent. Miley’s journey
The 34-year-old hauls all the supplies he needs in a specially designed sled called the Stone 26, which includes food, spare equipment, and communications.
Mr. Cox’s only contact with the outside world will be a beacon that will show his location in case of an emergency and limited communications via satellite phone.
The new father said it will be hard being away from his wife Abby and their baby daughter Nora, but he hopes “they’ll be really proud of what he’s done” and will use his experiences to help tackle the challenges of crossing the polar tundra. South and natural glaciers will be used.
Mr. Cox said: “Most of my first day was uphill, but the conditions are good with the odd soft patch of snow preventing a whole lot of people from dying.”
“My plan for the first week, at my heaviest weight, is to ski 10 hours a day or until I get 20km and then see how I get on.
Overall, I’m really happy with the day and hope to keep this pace up for the next few weeks, especially when the cabbage gets lighter.
While I’ve been training for this for over two years and I know I’ve done all my preparations, I’m still trying to do something very ambitious, so I’m not taking anything for granted.
It will be hard to be away from Abby and Nora for so long, especially at Christmas, but they have been so supportive, and I hope to make them proud.
Joining the Royal Navy in 2010, Mr Cox spent 13 years as an officer, serving combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as extended periods in jungles, deserts, and the Arctic Circle.
He now leads bespoke micro-expedition adventures in northern Sweden that offer insight and experience into the world of polar expeditions.
Mr. Cox began his journey on the north shore of Breckner Island and will finish at the base of the Reedy Glacier on the Ross Ice Shelf, via Antarctica.
During his challenge, Mr. Cox is working with the Austrian Space Society to research the psychological impact of the journey on the human brain – where every day in an unfamiliar and unrelenting environment is very similar.
Mr Cox said: “The opportunities for scientific research in Antarctica are limited, so this expedition is an opportunity for me to contribute to some really rare research.
“I will be participating in studies that have never been done in Antarctica for such a long time.”
Lamont Kirkland, chief executive of sports, challenge, and adventure charity Team Forces, said: “It’s a pleasure to support Mr Cox in his first world expedition attempt.
“The amount of preparation and training that Mr. Cox has done should not be underestimated. It will be a tough journey, but he will be a true pioneer in making history in one of the last great deserts on Earth. This is a truly epic expedition.”
British adventurer and TV presenter Bear Grylls said of the expedition: “An incredible challenge that epitomizes the commando spirit of relentless determination in the face of overwhelming adversity.
I greatly admire this effort and it will help and inspire many.