25 November 2016: Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has set out on the next step of his intrepid bid to become the first person to cross both polar ice caps and climb the highest mountain on every continent.
He and his support team are travelling to Antarctica this week for the summit attempt on the 16,050ft (4,892m) high Mount Vinson. By June 2017, the septuagenarian aims to have also climbed Aconcagua in Argentina, Mount Carstensz in New Guinea, and Denali, the highest peak in North America and one of the world’s most dangerous and difficult mountains to climb.
Sir Ranulph has already reached the North and South Poles by crossing the Antarctic continent and the Arctic Ocean (1982), and climbed Mount Everest in Asia (2009), Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa (2004) and Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe, in June this year.
Throughout the Global Reach Challenge, the veteran adventurer will be able to highlight his Marie Curie charity fundraising campaign and share his experiences using satellite communication equipment and airtime supplied by Inmarsat.
Two robust IsatPhone 2 satellite phones will keep Sir Ranulph, his support team and Fieldcraft Studios, a production company filming his endeavour, in touch with each other and the rest of the world. With IsatHub, Inmarsat’s smart device connectivity service, they will be able to keep followers updated on his progress with images, blogs and social media updates.
Live broadcasts on the BBC Breakfast Show throughout the challenge will be made possible using BGAN HDR.
Sir Ranulph has already raised £18 million for good causes over a lifetime of epic challenges, and aims to reach a total of £20 million despite health problems.
Speaking about the imminent climb Sir Ranulph said: “I’m nervous, this is going to be a difficult mountain for me. I’ve been training on Snowdonia, but you just don’t know what you might face and this mountain is very remote so it’s not so easy to get help if you find yourself in trouble. I really hope everyone will donate to Marie Curie.”