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Sir Ranulph Fiennes climbs highest Antarctica peak

Sir Ranulph Fiennes Image copyright Marie Curie
Image caption Sir Ranulph's team said he reached the peak of Mount Vinson at about 23:00 GMT on Tuesday

Veteran British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has successfully climbed to the summit of Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica.

The feat forms part of his pledge to climb the highest mountain on every continent between August 2016 and May 2017.

The 72-year-old faced minus 40C temperatures and severe winds to climb the 16,050ft (4,892m) peak.

He said: "I am delighted to have completed this stage of my challenge."

His team said he reached the peak of Mount Vinson at about 23:00 GMT on Tuesday.

'Very demanding'

The explorer from Exmoor, Somerset, is halfway to completing the Global Reach Challenge in aid of Marie Curie.

Sir Ranulph has been raising funds for Marie Curie since the death of his first wife Ginny in 2004.

He has raised £18m in total for charity and aims to raise £20m for good causes in his lifetime.

Sir Ranulph said: "It has been very demanding for me this at this age and not something that I take lightly at all but it is the hope of raising money for Marie Curie and the work they do that has kept me motivated throughout."

Image copyright Yoshiko Miyazaki
Image caption Mount Vinson is the highest peak in Antarctica

He has already crossed both polar ice caps and and climbed Mount Everest in Asia, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mount Elbrus in Europe.

To complete the challenge, he still needs to summit Aconcagua in South America, Mount Carstensz in the continent of Australia and Denali, the highest peak in North America.

Sir Ranulph has had two heart attacks, a double heart bypass, has vertigo and a breathing condition called Cheyne-Stokes while climbing.

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