Sir Ranulph Fiennes pulls out of Antarctic trek due to frostbite
Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been forced to abandon his attempt to make the world's first Antarctic winter crossing due to severe frostbite.
Sir Ranulph, from Exford in Somerset, has made the decision to withdraw from Antarctica before the harsh onset of winter.
Some reports suggest the 68-year-old had attempted to fix a ski binding using his bare hands in temperatures around -30C.
A statement issued today on The Coldest Journey website said: "Right now the team is working towards evacuating Fiennes from Antarctica.
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"He will be transported by skidoo to the Princess Elisabeth Station about 70km away from his current position, from where he will be flown to Novo to get a connecting flight to Cape Town.
"This plan is currently being hampered due to a blizzard at their present location which is making the first stage of the evacuation impossible. Until there is a let-up in the weather conditions, Fiennes will be unable to leave."
The remaining team members will continue with the expedition as originally planned.
"The expedition has reached the point where they can readily establish a supply depot on the Antarctic plateau," the statement added.
"This puts them in an excellent position to start the crossing as scheduled on March 21.
"Sir Ranulph remains fully dedicated to the project. As soon as his injuries permit, he will continue to support The Coldest Journey by fundraising and promoting awareness of Seeing is Believing, the expedition's chosen charity, which is committed to eradicating preventable blindness in the developing world."