Story

WE MADE IT - having met up with the main Ice Team as planned (and by the skin of our teeth due to weather delays) on 9th January 2009 (22.30 GMT), we covered the 97 nautical miles and reached the South Pole on 19th January (19.00 GMT, 08.00 on 20th January South Pole - New Zealand - time).

A huge thank you to everyone for all of your support and generosity !!

Following recent training within the Arctic Circle, I have been chosen to take part in a centenary expedition to the South Pole (http://www.shackletoncentenary.org/about/).

The expedition is being organised by descendants of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 'Nimrod' expedition of 1908/09. The Expedition's patrons are Princess Anne and Robert Swan OBE (a famous present-day polar explorer).

On 9th January 1909, the 'Nimrod' expedition team turned back some 97 nautical miles (c120 statute miles) from the South Pole when Shackleton decided to save his team from certain starvation. Shackleton subsequently held the record for the 'Farthest South' until Dec 1911, when Amundsen reached the South Pole.

The first expeditionary team of 3 (completely insane) people (lead by Lt. Col. Henry Worsley) set-off in November 2008 to cover the entire c900 mile Shackleton route to the Pole !

I am part of a second (4 person) team that will meet Henry Worsley's team at the spot that Shackleton turned back (exactly one hundred years to the day) - and then go on to finish the task !

Antarctica is the coldest, driest and windiest place on Earth.

It is extremely cold (January average -35C, winter temperatures down to -80C), has strong katabatic headwinds (up to 120mph) and high altitudes (the South Pole is c9,300 feet above sea level, but the rotation of the earth makes the air so thin it is like being at 11,000 feet above sea level).

In addition, the nature of the snow makes hauling the sledges (up to 150 lbs and almost entirely ‘up hill’ over a distance equivalent to London-to-Birmingham) feel like they are being dragged through sand !

Fewer people have trekked to the South Pole than have scaled Everest !

The primary purpose of the expedition is to raise money for a charitable foundation, The Shackleton Foundation. The Shackleton Foundation is creating an endowment of £10 million over the next five years to support individuals of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds who exemplify the spirit of Sir Ernest Shackleton: inspirational leaders wishing to 'make a difference'. The Foundation helps individual leaders cross their own 'Antarcticas', in whatever field, especially where the project benefits the 'less advantaged'. For more information, please visit www.shackletonfoundation.org. For example, the Foundation has recently provided funding for http://www.envision.org.uk/.

Please help in any way that you can.

Thank you very much,

Richard / Ronnie

*** DRAW WINNER ***

The winner of the unique draw is Bertie Aspinall, aged 9 months, from London. I will be taking one of Bertie's favourite soft toys in my sledge to the South Pole, where it will be photographed to certify it as a polar explorer !

Who knows, given that the expedition will also be the subject of a full special edition Timewatch BBC program next year Bertie's toy may become famous !


Donating through Justgiving is quick, easy and totally secure. It’s also the most efficient way to sponsor me: The Shackleton Foundation gets your money faster and, if you’re a UK taxpayer, Justgiving makes sure 25% in Gift Aid, plus a 3% supplement, are added to your donation.

So please sponsor me now!

Raising money for

Shackleton Foundation

Shackleton Foundation

Charity Registration No. 1118686

The Shackleton Foundation supports individuals of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds who exemplify the spirit of Sir Ernest Shackleton: inspirational leaders wishing to "make a difference", in particular to the less advantaged.

Donations 129

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Am very impressed!

Donation by Stephen on 08/12/09

£30.00

+ £8.46 Gift Aid

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Congratulations Richard, a fantastic achievement, Well Done - With Love S, L & A xx

Donation by Stephen Gray on 12/10/09

£50.00

+ £14.10 Gift Aid

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well done ronnie! i thought you made a bit of a meal of it, but a good effort nevertheless.

Donation by benjaimin du boulay on 23/09/09

£40.00

+ £11.28 Gift Aid

Sorry this is sooooo late but well done - fantastic achievement!

Donation by Russ Mould on 10/06/09

£50.00

+ £14.10 Gift Aid

Sorry - better late than never! Well done on a fantastic achievement.

Donation by Lisa Atherton on 29/04/09

£30.00

+ £8.46 Gift Aid

a wonderful achievement

Donation by The Waldemar Browns on 28/02/09

£100.00

+ £28.21 Gift Aid

A reward for enduring the chafing.... A good public school up-bringing saw you right after all.

Donation by Fred Ward on 26/02/09

£175.00

+ £49.36 Gift Aid

Well done. Finally found your email

Donation by Simon Smith on 17/02/09

£20.00

+ £5.64 Gift Aid

sorry so late - well done you you mad loony xxxxxxxx

Donation by Vinny and Alex Burnett on 08/02/09

£30.00

+ £8.46 Gift Aid

Good effort

Donation by Will Hawley on 05/02/09

£50.00

+ £14.10 Gift Aid

congrats!!

Donation by Andy on 02/02/09

£50.00

+ £14.10 Gift Aid

I walked all the way to Clapham Junction the other day and it was really windy and quite chilly. Get home and look after your family for goodness sake

Donation by Wrighty's on 29/01/09

£25.00

+ £7.05 Gift Aid

Nice one Ronnie!

Donation by Andrew & Emily Lodge on 29/01/09

£100.00

+ £28.21 Gift Aid

Amazing amazing Ronnie - WOW. Your beard doesn't look nearly rugged enough for an explorer!!! LOL xxx

Donation by Georgie and Rupert Harding- Newman on 29/01/09

£20.00

+ £5.64 Gift Aid

What a challenge, well done you. Much love, xx

Donation by Lucy Hoysted on 29/01/09

£20.00

+ £5.64 Gift Aid

I'm in awe at your amazing achievement. Look forward to your debut at RGS...

Donation by Alice Whitehead on 29/01/09

£20.00

+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Many congratulations. Sorry about the very late donation...

Donation by Flash on 29/01/09

£30.00

+ £8.46 Gift Aid

Great effort - well done

Donation by Kenneth Borton on 29/01/09

£50.00

+ £14.10 Gift Aid

Close to my home country! Amazing challenge. Well done!!

Donation by W Bunge on 29/01/09

£50.00

+ £14.10 Gift Aid

well done dick!

Donation by beardie on 28/01/09

£100.00

Congrats amazing achievement look forward to seeing you soon.

Donation by Mike,Lou,Sophie,Jessica,Charlie on 26/01/09

£50.00

+ £14.10 Gift Aid

Congratulations on a wonderful adventure, brilliant project raising money for such an excellent cause and an amazing achievement

Donation by Mrs Helen Draper on 19/01/09

£20.00

+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Well, move a guy outside of London and the first thing he does is lose his mind and head off for the South Pole. Good luck Ronnie, and well done.

Donation by Drew and Lorella Dickson on 18/01/09

£250.00

+ £70.51 Gift Aid

Hope all going well and sad not to see you last weekend.

Donation by Pete & Posy on 16/01/09

£100.00

+ £28.21 Gift Aid

great job!!

Donation by Maureen on 15/01/09

£30.00

+ £8.46 Gift Aid

Donation summary

  • * Online donations£8,925.50
  • Offline donations£11,086.28
  • Text donations£0.00
  • Total raised£20,011.78
  • Gift Aid£2,277.70

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