The hardest 105 days of my life: Ben Saunders at TED2014

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Ben Saunders. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Ben Saunders. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

On October 25, 2013, adventurer Ben Saunders and his teammate Tarka L’Herpiniere set out to complete Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s failed 1912 polar expedition — a four-month, 1,800-mile journey from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back.

At the start of the expedition, L’Herpiniere and Saunders each dragged 200 kilograms by sledge, heavier loads than each of Scott’s weakest ponies, and about 100 kilograms more than Scott and his men. Over these four months, the pair faced blizzards, temperatures far below zero and vast whiteouts that forced them to move forward blind.

At TED2014, five weeks after the end of this adventure, Saunders addresses the audience with a dry wit and aplomb that betrays a man who just walked 1,800 miles across Antarctica in 105 days. “I stand here before you,” he says, “as an expert in dragging heavy stuff around…

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