Explorer Ranulph Fiennes to chronicle Antarctic winter expedition in HD

Sir Ranulph Fiennes and his expedition members on board the research ship SA Agulhas, at its River Thames mooring in London, recently took delivery of a Polecam rig before leaving on the first leg of its journey to Antarctica.

The Polecam will deliver increased production value by complementing the expedition’s existing camera setup. It will provide some unique perspectives for interviews as well as be used for onboard training, while loading and unloading equipment, and to document the expedition's progress. The Polecam, fitted with the new Polecam Long Head, will be mounted with a Panasonic HPX250 P2HD camcorder.

After a short stopover in Cape Town, South Africa, the ship will sail to the edge of the ice in Eastern Antarctica, arriving in mid-January 2013. There, the team will set up its base of operations.

The veteran explorer will take on what many consider to be the last true remaining Polar challenge by attempting to cross Antarctica in the depths of winter. The six-month expedition is being called “The Coldest Journey,” and will see the team of six crossing about 2000 miles, mostly in complete darkness and in temperatures as low as -130 degrees Fahrenheit. The expedition is looking to raise $5 million via fund raising for the Seeing is Believing charitable initiative. Standard Chartered Bank will provide a dollar-for-dollar match, potentially taking the total to $10 million.

On March 21, 2013, the team will begin the six-month journey, sailing on from South Africa to reach the Ross Sea. Their Polar journey from the Russian base of Novolazareskaye ('Novo') to Captain Scott's base at McMurdo Sound, via the South Pole, will test the limits of human endurance.

Previously, the furthest any expedition has ever ventured into Antarctica during the winter is 60 miles. The six-man team, led by Sir Ranulph, will have to be entirely self-sufficient. There will be no search-and-rescue facility available, as aircraft cannot penetrate inland during winter due to darkness and risk of fuel freezing.