Lewis Clarke, South Pole record boy, returns to UK
- 23 January 2014
- From the section Bristol
A 16-year-old boy who became the youngest person to ski to the South Pole will celebrate with a "good meal and a long sleep", he has revealed.
Lewis Clarke, from Bristol, spent 48 days completing a 700-mile (1,100km) route inland from the Antarctic coast.
The teenager was greeted by his family at Heathrow Airport at about 15:00 GMT.
Lewis began the expedition on 2 December and endured temperatures as low as -40C (-40F) and winds of up to 120mph (193km/h) during the trek.
On his return he said: "I'm feeling good. It's nice to be back. I missed the food to be honest, just good food.
"I think tonight will just be a good meal in and a nice long sleep."
He said it was "great" to see his parents again and that him being away had probably been just as hard on them as it was on him.
"It's the longest I've ever been away from them, so it was obviously great to see the family," he added.
Talking about the ski, he said it "may well be the most difficult thing I will ever do".
"The hardest time was probably right at the end. It doesn't make it any easier getting closer. The last day especially was very cold and very windy and actually getting to the pole just felt incredible.
"Obviously being the youngest as well, and it's such a remote and incredible place, it just felt brilliant to be there. It was an amazing feeling to be there after such a long time."
Lewis said he will now be studying hard to catch up on the school he has missed in preparation for his GCSEs at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital School this summer.
'Proud and impressed'
His father, Steven, said he was "very excited" about seeing him after more than two months.
"It's just a relief to have him home. I'm incredibly proud of him. I'd be proud and impressed even if I didn't know him," he said.
The teenager pulled his supplies behind him, covering an average of 18 miles (29km) per eight-hour day.
Explorer Ranulph Fiennes said it was a "great achievement" and David Hempleman-Adams, who was the first British person to complete the same route, said Lewis's feat was "remarkable".
The British Antarctic Survey says the continent is the highest and coldest, nearly as big as Europe in size and almost entirely buried by snow and ice.