BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

27 November 2014
BBC SomersetBBC Somerset

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Things to do
People & Places
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Somerset


Related BBC Sites


Contact Us

You are in: Somerset » Closer to you
19 February 2004 1638 GMT
Record-breaking polar explorer
Simon Murray (image courtesy: Martin Hartley)
Simon Murray is the oldest man to have walked unaided to the South Pole (image courtesy: Martin Hartley)

A 63-year-old man is safely back in Somerset after becoming the oldest man to walk unaided to the South Pole.

Simon Murray has been talking to us about his 680-mile trek across Antarctica.

Listen to Simon Murray Simon Murray talks to Simon White
BBC download guide
Free Real player
BBC News >>>

Duo ready to restart pole trek

Records set in Pole expedition

Polar trekkers near halfway stage

Helicopter challenge abandoned

Wife drops in on Antarctic trek

Briton, 63, aims for polar record
Polar Travel Company

Royal Geographical Society

Tetley South Pole Mission

Polar First Challenge

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.
View a printable version of this page.
get in contact

That other great Somerset-based explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes was a decade younger when he made his successful crossing of Antarctica via the Pole in 1993.

Simon Murray told presenter Simon White that he never thought he would appreciate England in the middle of February.

He said: "It's not exactly my idea of a winter holiday but there was a strong sense of achievement arriving there."

The businessman from near Frome had to face temperatures of -35°C, which felt as cold as
-70°C in the biting polar winds.

The 680-mile trek took the pair from Hercules Inlet on the continental edge of Antarctica to the South Geographic Pole.

Simon Murray and Pen Haddow (image courtesy: Martin Hartley)
Simon Murray joined Pen Haddow to make the expedition (image courtesy: Martin Hartley)

Mr Murray says he and Pen Haddow each had to pull a sledge weighing about 150 kilos (nearly 300 lbs).

He said: "We pulled that uphill for eight hours every day. We had a broken sledge, which made it very tough.

"I lost my skis in a whiteout. I thought they were strapped to my sledge, but they weren't.

"It made it very tough. For the last 200 miles, we were in soft snow, which was nearly a foot deep.

"Slogging along in snow that deep without skis is like climbing deep, soft sand dunes. It was very tough, but we were very well prepared."

>>> Listen to the interview

Top | Closer to you Index | Home
Also in this section
Outdoors and Attractions
Get in touch
Get in touch with the team

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy