Explorer ready for trek after expert help

EXPERT Geoff Long
EXPERT Geoff Long
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ADVENTURER Sir Ranulph Fiennes will be safe in the knowledge he is wearing the right kit to keep him warm in temperatures of minus 70C.

The 68-year-old, who is vying to become the first to cross Antarctica during the continent’s winter, has been receiving help from the University of Portsmouth ahead of his epic challenge this December.

Experts at the university have been testing equipment and mechanics that are able withstand the 24-hour darkness at extreme sub-zero temperatures.

Geoff Long, senior specialists in the extreme environments laboratory, has been involved in monitoring body temperatures and selecting the best possible kit for such freezing climes.

Professor Mike Tipton, a noted expert in the field of extreme environments, has also been involved on a consultative level.

Mr Long said: ‘The University of Portsmouth has been involved every step of the way with this project.

‘We supplied support and research both at Portsmouth and at other test facilities in the UK and I participated in a key shake-down of kit in Northern Sweden at a preparation trip earlier this year.’

The team conducted assessments of the best combination of clothing, gloves, footwear and head gear to keep the trekkers warm.

This included testing the manual dexterity of the gloves the team will use.

Sir Ranulph first undertook a polar expedition in 1986.

He plans to make The Coldest Journey on Earth, crossing the continent on skis.