The Coldest Journey begins
Finning engineers and two modified Cat D6Ns set off on world’s first winter trans-Antarctic crossing
TWO Caterpillar D6Ns, supplied and specially modified by Finning, have this week set out on the world’s first winter crossing of Antarctica.
The Coldest Journey expedition is taking place between the two seasonal equinoxes, from 20 March to 20 September, with ice team members Brian Newham, Ian Prickett, Dr Robert Lambert and Finning engineers Spencer Smirl and Richmond Dykes.
The entirely self-sufficient team will travel 2,400 miles from Crown Bay to Captain Scott’s base at McMurdo Sound – via the South Pole – in temperatures approaching –90°C and in near permanent darkness.
As part of the first-ever trans-Antarctic crossing during the polar winter, the team will attempt to raise US$10 million for international charity Seeing is Believing.
Utilizing specialist equipment located in a scientific research caboose towed by the Cat D6Ns, the expedition team will undertake a number of scientific tasks to provide unique data on glaciology, marine life, oceanography and meteorology.
Commenting on the start of The Coldest Journey, Finning’s director of Equipment Solutions, Jason Howlett, said: ‘When Sir Ranulph Fiennes first approached us three years ago to support a mechanical crossing of Antarctica, we knew we faced an incredible challenge to prepare two machines capable of achieving such a feat.
‘Through the support of our colleagues at Caterpillar, and the engineering excellence of our team at Cannock, we have achieved this and everyone at Finning is proud to have played a part in an expedition for such a worthy cause.
‘With the expedition starting today, I would like to extend my own personal support to the ice team, as well as that of everyone at Finning. We’re confident that the extensive training and experience of our engineers on the expedition, combined with the quality of the Cat D6Ns, will make the expedition a success.
‘We look forward to welcoming the team back following their completion of this exciting and ambitious expedition.’