Team led by British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes aims to cross Antarctica in winter


JOHANNESBURG — British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has embarked on an expedition that he describes as one of the last remaining polar challenges: crossing Antarctica during the region's winter.

Fiennes and his five-member team left Cape Town today aboard a South African polar vessel for what they have dubbed “The Coldest Journey.”

In March, they plan to begin their continent-spanning journey via the South Pole. The plan is to traverse nearly 2,485 miles, mostly in total darkness and with temperatures dipping as low as minus 130 Fahrenheit.

Fiennes, who is 68 years old, says he and his companions will stretch the limits of human endurance.