Lewis sets his sights on South Pole world record

December 23 2013

BRAVING the Antarctic is a Bishopston teenager who has his sights set on becoming the youngest person to ski across the South Pole.

BRAVING the Antarctic is a Bishopston teenager who has his sights set on becoming the youngest person to ski across the South Pole.
Sixteen-year-old Lewis Clarke set out on his world record breaking venture on November 16.
He is now in the process of skiing over 700 miles from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole.
The QEH student is two years younger than the record holder, Canadian Sarah McNair-Landry, who completed the challenge in 2005.
Lewis is being accompanied on his trek by Adventure Network International (ANI) expedition guide, Carl Alvey. The pair will be exposed to temperatures as low as -40, winds as high as 125mph and permanent daylight. As they move closer inland towards the Pole, the weather will become increasingly cold and windy. They will be trekking on average around eight hours a day.
Lewis's only form of communication is by satellite phone. He contacts the base camp at Union Glacier in Antarctica every day, who then pass on the information to his family. Regular updates are being provided by Lewis's family on his blog.
He stated on his website before leaving for the expedition: "Thank you to everyone who has encouraged and supported me over the past few years to reach this point. I could not have done this without your help.
"I am both nervous and excited and in no doubt about the challenges the Antarctic continent will throw at a novice like me, but I know I have great support from Carl and all at ANI."
The money raised from Lewis's expedition will be donated to The Prince's Trust, which supports disadvantaged children.
Besides raising money for charity, the purpose of Lewis's endeavour is to inspire other youngsters to take on tough challenges.
In 2010, Lewis led five other 12-year-old school children to become the youngest relay team to swim the English Channel.
Lewis plans a series of post-expedition talks and presentations for 2014 - the anniversary year of Ernest Shackleton’s heroic but unsuccessful Antarctic expedition - in schools and youth clubs. Through using the web and social media sites, his talks will be accessible worldwide.
Lewis has undergone a tough training regime in the build up to his trek. In February 2013, he took part in a two week polar training course in Norway, and in April, he completed an expedition on the Greenland coast, accompanied by polar bears.
At home, Lewis's training regime included regular tyre pulling exercises on the Clifton Downs and Weston-Super-Mare beach to keep up the effort.
Besides friends and family, Lewis has also acquired the support of Jonathon Bradshaw, who was a member of the first Irish team to trek to the South Pole in 2007, TV historian Dan Snow, who will assist with fund raising, and Bristol’s largest post-production house, Films at 59, who will be helping with technical filming support.
To keep up to date with Lewis's expedition, visit: www.youngesttosouthpole.wordpress.com

Lewis Clarke