Benedict Allen prepares for adventure
graduate of the University of East Anglia Benedict Allen
takes to the wilds of Siberia in his latest TV series.
In Ice Dogs,
the adventurer attempts a 1,000 mile sledge trek across the Bering
Strait with 10 husky dogs during Siberia's worst winter in living
studied Environmental Sciences at the UEA, has already explored
the Amazon, New Guinea and Sumatra but this time he faces
in temperatures of up to minus 40 degrees, Benedict, 41, attempts
to win over the dogs' confidence as he sets off, first with two
local guides, and then entirely alone with just his animals - all
on a challenging diet of raw whale, walrus and seal meat (livened
up with Benedict's home comfort, a dash of Tabasco sauce).
knew if the ice broke and I went into the water I would have
20 seconds to live"
"We didn't get
off to the best of starts, as the dogs suddenly started chasing
a stray dog, pulling me and the sledge onto the ice - I knew if
the ice broke and I went into the water I would have 20 seconds
to live," said the explorer.
"I had taken
the latest high-tech clothing to protect myself from the immense
cold, but I soon realised it was designed for men marching to the
North Pole... if only it had been that easy for me, sitting exposed
on a sledge.
gave me layers of reindeer skin to wear, weighing 15 kg, which was
identical to the protective clothing worn by Arctic explorers over
a hundred years ago - so much for modern clothes.
there were times when I literally forced myself to stay awake all
night and keep wriggling my fingers and toes to prevent frostbite."
his time at the UEA in Norwich was the ideal inspiration for his
"As a boy
I wanted to be an explorer, I was fascinated by the world out there
and the Environmental Sciences course is world renowned.
study everything around me - ecology, botany, climate, people -
it was a wonderful education and I did three expeditions in my final
year, launching out into the world. It was brilliant for me."
You can find
out how Benedict coped in one of the most hostile environments on
earth in Ice Dogs, on BBC Two, Tuesdays, at 7.30pm.