Saunders Ben (Great Britain)

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Saunders Ben

Saunders Ben

© Saunders Ben

Born in 1977, Ben Saunders has already four expeditions to the North Pole under his belt. He has skiied more than 1,500 miles on the Arctic pack ice.

Ben Saunders grew up in Devon and studied at the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst; he is currently living in London. At 19, he was already very fond of the great outdoors and of great adventures; he spent four months in the Nepalese Himalayas, climbing several summits. He then worked as an Instructor at the John Ridgway School of Adventure in Scotland, considered one of the most difficult training schools of England.

Ben is an accomplished sportsman (although at school, he was considered in his younger days to be the fatty of the class and was always chosen last when a football team had to be picked). He discovered mountain-biking at an early age and subsequently took part in many bike races at the national level. He has run several marathons; his best time being 2 hours 55 minutes. He is considered to be the youngest adventurer who has ever skiied to the North Pole (during his 2004 expedition, see below) and holds the record for the longest Arctic trek achieved by a Britisher.

When he is not training by dragging tyres, Ben Saunders shares his time between the preparation of new adventures and that of the lectures he gives for the UK' S leading motivational speakers. He is an ambassador of the Prince's Trust, Honorary Vice-Chairman of the famous Geographical Association and supports both the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and the Orchid Cancer Appeal.

His Main Expeditions

  • 2001: along with Pen Hadow, Ben wans to be youngest person to reach the North Pole from the Arktichewski Cape. They conceded defeat on April 29 after covering nearly 360 miles. The conditions had become too dangerous for going any further.
  • 2003: return trip Barneo Ice Camp/North pole (141 miles), a training expedition.
  • 2004: attempt to cross the Arctic Ocean, solo and unaided, on the Arktichewski-Ward Hunt route. Having covered 644 miles, he gave up four days after having reached the North Pole.
  • 2008: For the first time, Ben is attempting to beat the Ward Hunt > North Pole route speed record, solo and unsupported. This record is held by the expedition led by Tom Avery who, in 2005, had wanted to recreate the conditions of Robert Peary's historic expedition. His expedition was called: "Barclays Capital Ultimate North Expedition". Tom Avery was accompanied by Andrew Gerber, George Wells, Matty McNair and Hugh Dale-Harris. He set off on 21 March with dogs and old-fashioned wooden sledges and, on 27 April, the team arrived at the North Pole five hours before the deadline that had been set by Peary (who had covered the distance in 36 days and 22 hours), after having been re-supplied on three occasions. Ben was put down on Ward Hunt on 27 March. But after eight days on the ice, at the position N.83.57.686 W. 074.12.566, the fasteners that attached his skis to his boots incomprehensibly and above all irrevocably broke. No way of going on. It was time to throw in the towel.
  • 2010: Ben attempted for the second time the Ward Hunt > North Pole trek speed record - once again solo and unsupported. But Ben had some bad luck once again; on the twelfth day of his adventure, a jerrycan broke in his luggage, contaminating some 80% of his victuals. Impossible to continue without ingesting fuel with every meal. Ben decided to give up.
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