Update: Sir Ranulph Fiennes has unfortunately had to leave the project due to injury, however the remaining members will still continue with the expedition and Panasonic will continue to provide support for the project. (March 12, 2013)
"Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real!"
This sentence, taken from the Jules Verne's novel "Around the World in Eighty Days", could be the maxim of British adventurer and explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes who will lead a team of 6 explorers to conquer the last great polar challenge: crossing the Antarctica in winter.
- The Map of the Route the Team Will Take
No one has ever attempted such an adventure before and it will certainly not be without dangers. The expedition will involve crossing about 2,400 miles of ice in temperatures of -70°C, with not only biting winds and piercing blizzards, but also perpetual darkness and deep crevasses hidden by the snow to contend with.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who will be 69 in March, is really conscious of what this expedition means in terms of security, equipment and preparation. This project has been on his mind for a good number of years, but it was important for him before starting it to gather the best team and also the best partners. That's why Panasonic was chosen as the official technology partner for expedition. Only Panasonic is able to provide today the range of technologies required for such an epic undertaking, guaranteed to work flawlessly, regardless of how hostile the environment is.
Like a modern expedition of Captain Hatteras in the desert of ice, they will try to document the secrets of the mysterious island, using Panasonic's rugged Toughbooks to collect and analyze unique scientific research data on the condition of the ice at the Antarctic that will be an invaluable resource for studying the effects of global warming. The team will also use LUMIX and LUMIX G digital cameras, and the AG-HPX250 P2 Broadcast Camera to capture their experiences and share them with colleagues and audiences back home.
It will be indeed possible to follow the adventures of "The English at the 'South' Pole", not only through articles in newspapers and the internet, but also through the frequent video blogs provided by the team, made available especially for schools.
In addition to its scientific research goals, the expedition has another aim of raising $10 million for the charity Seeing is Believing, an international initiative to help tackle avoidable blindness around the world.
On January 23, the first phase of the expedition was accomplished. The boat transferring the whole team reached Crown Bay in the Antarctica. A first base camp will be established where, prior to the start of the traverse, scheduled in March, the equipment will be tested and checked. "My over-excitement was beyond all description," said Axel in "Journey to the Centre of the Earth".
We can be sure that it is the feeling of Sir Ranulph Fiennes and his team, and we wish them all the best on their journey.
"The Earth does not need new continents, but new men showing that there are no impossible obstacles; that there are just stronger and weaker wills. That's all!" (Jules Verne)