Sir Ranulph's frostbite frustration at missing out on Coldest Journey
Sir Ranulph Fiennes said he was "frustrated" at being forced to pull out of an expedition across Antarctica because of frostbite.
The 68-year-old was injured in a fall while skiing during training at a base camp in Antarctica and developed frostbite after taking off his outer gloves to fix a ski binding in temperatures of around minus 33C.
It forced the Exmoor-based explorer to quit the Coldest Journey expedition but he will continue to support the project through fundraising.
After flying back to the UK yesterday, Sir Ranulph told a press conference: "The vascular surgeon I saw yesterday said that, in his opinion – he wasn't sure – two of the fingers definitely would not require surgery and two of the fingers might require surgery."
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
Although Sir Ranulph has had to give up the challenge, his team-mates will continue with the 2,000-mile trek, which they are expected to embark on later this month.
Hailed as the last great polar challenge, the journey across the Antarctic has never been attempted during the winter.
The team will experience some of the toughest conditions on earth – near permanent darkness and temperatures as low as minus 90C (minus 130F) during their six-month journey.
Describing how he felt at having to pull out, he went on: "It is extremely frustrating. I started working on this expedition five years ago.
"I've been working on it and nothing else full-time and unpaid for five years so it is definitely frustrating, but unavoidable, and I will make the best of it by focusing entirely on the expedition team."
Sir Ranulph said he got the frostbite while he was building up his skiing during preparations for the challenge.
"On this occasion with me I was trying to fix the ski binding in a total white-out," he said.
"I tried fixing the bindings with my big overgloves on – couldn't do a damn thing. You couldn't sort of peel a banana with them on.
"Some people would say surely you shouldn't take your mitts off.
"OK, so you sit there and go nowhere and die of cold. You've got to fix your bindings in order to go back. It's one of those things."