Britain’s two youngest Everest summiteers now plan to go pole to pole.
Rob Gauntlett and James Hooper will tackle the route from the North Pole to the South Pole without using motorised transport en route.
The two 19-year-olds, who in May this year became the youngest Britons to get to the highest point on earth, are now planning the 17,000-mile trip ski-ing, walking, cycling and sailing the length of the globe, via north and south America and finally to Antarctica.
They hope to ski from the North Pole to the edge of the ice pack, where they will use an ice-breaker yacht to reach Newfoundland. From there, they take to two wheels as they cycle the length of the Americas, apart from one small, Panamanian section where they will again use sail-power because of a lack of a navigable road.
From Punta Arenas in Chile, the plan is to sail to the Wedell Sea before again donning skis for a kite-powered traverse to the South Pole. Ten months is the scheduled duration of the trip.
Rob, of Petworth, West Sussex and James, from Wellington, Somerset, were chums at the Sussex boarding school Christ’s Hospital. They now face the task of raising cash for the challenge – their Everest venture cost £30,000 which had to be financed by fundraising – and are hoping to provide a weekly podcast of the trip on their website.
The pair will be supporting the youth charity the Prince’s Trust, having raised money for Cancer Research UK during their Everest expedition.
Among items they need for the pole-to-pole challenge are: top-notch bicycles, rugged laptops and satellite modems and a gun for the arctic section. They hope to set off in March next year, to coincide with the publication of a book of their Everest exploit.