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Sir Ranulph Fiennes forced to abandon latest quest due to severe frostbite

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 26, 2013

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, 68, was injured after a fall while skiing during training at a base camp in Antarctica

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Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been forced to abandon his most dangerous adventure yet because of severe frostbite.

The 68-year-old, from Exford in Somerset, was injured after a fall while skiing during training at a base camp in Antarctica.

The adventurer, known as "Ran" was attempting to make the world's first Antarctic winter crossing, a 2,000-mile journey with little prospect of rescue.

Sir Ranulph, who lost the fingers on his left hand during an unaided attempt to reach the North Pole in 2000, used his bare hands to fix a ski binding in temperatures around -30C.

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Tony Medniuk from the "Coldest Journey" expedition said Sir Ranulph had been practising his skiing in white-out conditions when he fell.

"In seeking to re-attach his binding he felt that he couldn't get it on and had to take his glove off in very cold conditions and exposed his hand to snow and as a consequence he has contracted frostbite," he told the BBC.

Sir Ranulph, who is awaiting an evacuation to South Africa which is being hampered by blizzard conditions, is said to be "gutted".

The expedition team are attempting to raise $10 million (£6.15m) for the Seeing Is Believing blindness charity.

The intrepid explorer, who at the age of 65 climbed to the summit of Mount Everest, said he was under no illusions about the daunting task when he left Cape Town last month.

"The conditions we will face may be nightmarish, they may from time to time be show-stoppers," Sir Ranulph said at the time.

"Steel and rubber may crack up. So may some of us."

The trek across Antarctica in winter, a feat no human being has managed, will present tough conditions – near permanent darkness and temperatures dropping close to minus 90C.

The expedition – from the Russian base of Novolazarevskaya to the Ross Sea – is expected to take six months.

The team, who intend to continue, are attempting to evacuate Sir Ranulph by transporting him by skidoo to the Belgian Princess Elisabeth Station, about 70km away from his current position.

From there he will be flown to Novo then take a connecting flight to Cape Town.

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  • omnivore23  |  February 27 2013, 2:05PM

    Cor that list is taking a long time - it must be a whopper! Can't wait !!!!

  • Bleach  |  February 27 2013, 1:30PM

    He's showed off his childishness in front of a few thousand people on this web site. Or does that count? Oooh! I know! he thinks he's clever because he's picked a name he thinks is racy. It's not, of course, it's not even original. It's a bit childish, mind you. So I guess that doesn't count as an achievement either. OK, as you were; nothing.

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  • ineedtherapy  |  February 27 2013, 12:23PM

    Could i ask that MrMikehunt takes the time to list all his achievements....should make an interesting, although I suspect, short, read

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  • Bleach  |  February 27 2013, 12:18PM

    @M i ke Hunt: "All this middle class waster is doing is using up the valuable resources of the emergency services." Last I looked the emergency services didn't extend to the Antarctic. His evacuation will be undertaken by his own expedition team which will have been funded by commercial sponsors. Dyson are a large contributor. "What is the point of this middle class rambler trekking through the snow" He is doing this for charity. The expedition will raise funding for Seeing is Believing, a sight loss charity. There are also scientific and educational aspects to the expedition. He has raised millions for charities during his lifetime. How much have you raised? http://tinyurl.com/atwvpbh has some information about his fund raising activities. He has contributed a great deal during his life time. You, on the other hand M ike Hunt, are a waste of space.

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  • Hocus_Pocus  |  February 27 2013, 11:36AM

    Mike (or whatever name you choose to use in the future), none of this is costing the taxpayer anything, so whats your problem now? (Apart from a mild pesonality disorder).

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  • omnivore23  |  February 27 2013, 11:00AM

    He saw active service against communist insurgencies in Oman (you should approve of that surely) He has seven honorary doctorates. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1993 for "human endeavour and for charitable services" He was awarded the Polar Medal for "outstanding service to British Polar exploration and research" He is in the "Top 100 living geniuses" published by The Daily Telegraph. In 2010 Fiennes was named as the UK's top celebrity fundraiser by JustGiving, after raising more than £2.5 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care. In total his expeditions have raised £14 million for good causes. Apart from that - he's a total loser. Maybe you could give him a bit of life coaching Mike since you are so clearly living the dream?

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  • MrMikeHunt  |  February 27 2013, 9:38AM

    All this middle class waster is doing is using up the valuable resources of the emergency services. Come on his supporters tell me what good his ego holiday gone wrong is doing for the world or mankind. Nothing.

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  • Bleach  |  February 27 2013, 8:04AM

    And look at that, it blocks out M i ke Hunt. It's not the name that's offensive, it's the person.

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  • Bleach  |  February 27 2013, 8:03AM

    And what's the point of *********, who thinks using an out of date gag for a name makes him clever. At least Ranulph Fiennes is getting off his backside and doing something instead of rotting in front of a computer and whining about the world in general.

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  • omnivore23  |  February 26 2013, 1:50PM

    Hmm -what is the point of people like Ranulph Fiennes???? ...........asks Mr Hunt. Aha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha very good., very good.

    |   1