Builders' Merchants News

Plumbase is backing 'The Coldest Journey', the first trans-Antarctic winter expedition.

Plumbase backs Fiennes' Antarctic world record attempt

Published:  28 September, 2012

CRAWLEY: Plumbing and heating merchant, Plumbase, is providing support to veteran explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes in his quest to complete the first ever trans-Antarctic winter expedition, 'The Coldest Journey'.

Sir Ranulph and his six-strong team will travel over 2000 miles across the Antarctic, mostly in complete dark and in temperatures as low as -90C.

The team will leave London on 6 December 2012, with the six-month journey from the Russian base of 'Novo' to Captain Scott's base at McMurdo Sound, acrioss the South Pole, commencing on 21 March 2013.

Plumbase will provide plumbing and heating equipment for the expedition, which will be utilised in the team's specially-engineered cabooses.

Mounted on sledges and towed by two specifically adapted tractors, the cabooses provide essential storage, accommodation and shelter from the extreme temperatures and harsh Antarctic environment.

Both the tractors and the cabooses have been designed to cope with the elements. All equipment to be used will be thoroughly tested, and in some cases specially invented for the expedition.

The cabooses will also provide space to complete scientific tasks, as unique data on marine life, oceanography and meteorology will be undertaken during the expedition with the aim of making a decisive contribution to understanding the effect of climate change upon the poles.

"This will be my greatest challenge to-date," said Sir Ranulph. "We will stretch the limits of human endurance. It is a unique opportunity to carry out a number of scientific tasks in the extreme polar environment, which will make a significant contribution to our understanding of the true effects of global warming on the Antarctic continent."

"We're extremely proud to be involved in such a monumental expedition," said Andy Gribble, the managing director of Plumbase.

"With such extreme conditions the cabooses are vital to the team's survival, and we're delighted to be involved in such an integral part of the equipment.

"In addition, environmental initiatives are very much at the forefront for Plumbase and we have recently launched our dedicated energy saving and renewables brand, Ecobase. We support the work that Sir Ranulph's team are undertaking to investigate the effect of climate change," Mr Gribble explained.

As well as achieving a Guinness World Record and completing scientific tasks, the expedition also aims to raise over 6m for Seeing is Believing, a global charitable initiative to fight avoidable blindness.