BIG ARCH2ARCTIC NEWS, we’ve been awarded a grant from Transglobe Expedition Trust (TET). For those in the know, the Transglobe Expedition, masterminded by Ginny and Sir Ranulph Fiennnes, is one of the greatest adventure journeys of all time. To honour that great achievement, they set up a trust to fund expeditions that follow in the same vein of human exploration and endeavour.
For Arch2Arctic, this grant is significant in more ways than the financial value (although we’re very grateful for that too). Ed Stafford, Walking the Amazon, received this award before setting off on his 2.5 year jourey to be the first man to walk the Amazon. If you haven’t seen his two part documentary then you absolutely must. After watching, you can’t help but feel that 2 hours of footage really doesn’t do justice to the immensity of that challenge.
The Coxless Crew, the first lady team to row the Pacific were also awarded this grant. You can watch their highs and lows in the feature film Losing Sight of the Shore on Netflix. Having briefly met a couple of those girls at the Transglobe Campfire event, apparently the documentary paints an overall much prettier picture than real life on that mission. But let’s face it, rowing for 9 months across the Pacific is never going to be a walk in the park.
But what was the Transglobe expedition? Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ wife, Ginny, came up with the idea of circumnavigating the globe vertically on the Greenwich meridian. They then spent the next 7 years planning and fundraising for it. It ended up being a 100,000-mile route across the Sahara via Tombouctou, through the swamps and jungles of Mali and the Ivory Coast, over huge unexplored crevasse fields in Antarctica, through the inhospitable North West Passage, graveyard of so many famous venturers, and into the unpredictable hazards of the Arctic Ocean. If you want to read one book about exploration, then read Cold, which summarises Ran and his teams’ expeditions over the last few decades.
So needless to say we’re delighted with this news. I think it definitely emboldens us, after all, one of the conditions of receiving this award is that after it’s complete we are invited to speak at the Royal Geographical Society, an evening which is normally hosted by Sir Ranulph Fiennes himself! Better polish up on that public speaking lark
Here’s Ed Stafford’s RGS speech, biggg shoes to fill.