Devizes soldier sets off on South Pole trek

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The South Pole trek team ready to set off The South Pole trek team ready to set off

Devizes  soldier Captain Adam Crookshank has been keeping his friends and supporters up to date on his charity trek to the South Pole.

Capt Crookshank, in company with Box explorer David Hempleman-Adams, Cpl Robbie Harmer and L/Cpl Nick Webb, who serve in the Royal Dragoon Guards with Capt Crookshank, are taking part in the extraordinary trek in memory of Captain Lawrence Oates, who perished on the Scott expedition to the South Pole 100 years ago.

Captain Crookshank reports in his latest blog: “Another day down and another seven hours and seven miles of walking. It doesn’t sound a lot, but seven miles really does creep by slowly out here.

“For me a day of walking falls into three categories. The first couple of hours I lead so I can walk at my own pace. I’m in front and the world is my oyster.

“Hours three to six some of the more experienced guys take to the front and the pace is a killer. The final hour I seem to find myself hitting a wall.

“However, out here you just push through. I think everyone at some stage has found it hard so far, but the team rallies round that person and you just get on with it.

“As my Dad would say, you just get your head down and dig deep.”
Capt Crookshank’s father is former paratrooper Jim Crookshank who used to run Cannings Hill Garage.

The group are dragging sleds filled with food and equipment 140 miles across the ice, just as Captain Scott and his team did 100 years ago. The three soldiers are from the same regiment as Captain Lawrence Oates, who famously left the tent on the ill-fated expedition.

After acclimatising on the Union Glacier in Antarctica, they were flown further south at the start of this week to begin the trek, with the aim of reaching the South Pole within 16 days.

The expedition aims to raise more than £1m, which will be split between Alzheimer's Research UK and Walking With The Wounded.
Also on the team is Olympic rower Matthew Pinsent and Malcolm Walker, the chief executive of Iceland supermarkets.

In his blog, Mr Hempleman-Adams, 57, who has been to the pole on 14 previous occasions, wrote: “Every year I say that I’m too old for all this – but here I am 30 years on still loving every second of it.

“The diversity of the group is brilliant. From 23-year-olds to 66-year-olds, soldiers to Olympic athletes to businessmen. But every single one of us shares a love of adventure, and we’ve gelled together incredibly well.”

Matthew Pinsent wrote: “The brisk winds are keeping us on our toes and swearing! There will certainly be a couple of us walking with dressing on our cheeks over the next few days.”

To sponsor the trek click here

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