In this episode I am joined by Louis Rudd, MBE. This interview with Lou was recorded in late October 2018, shortly before he departed for Chile and then onto Antarctica to attempt a solo, unsupported and unaided crossing of the Antarctic Continent via the South Pole. This means simply man-hauling everything he needs for the trip, accepting no assistance and not using any aids such as kites to pull him along. It’ll be entirely under his own steam. This is a challenge no-one has previously successfully completed.
If you’ve been a long time listener or if you’ve recently caught up with earlier episode of The Paul Kirtley Podcast, you will know that Lou guested on Episode 12.
This was during the period Lou was preparing himself and his SPEAR17 team of Army reserves for an expedition to the South Pole. That trip – for reasons we discuss in the interview – rather than stopping at the pole, turned into a full traverse of Antarctica. I haven’t properly caught up with Lou since then so we had a lot to cover in this interview.
Lou, currently 49, has been in the British military since he was 16 years old. He is a qualified military ski instructor and an Arctic Warfare instructor and before leading the SPEAR17 Antarctic expedition, Lou had previously undertaken a trip to the South pole with his friend Henry Worsley, as part of the Scott Amundsen Centenary Race. In 2012, Lou and Henry completed this 800-mile unsupported journey, following the original route of Roald Amundsen from the Bay of Whales to the South Pole.
I’m sure many of you will be glad Lou is back on this podcast with me. I’ve had a good number of requests since Episode 12 to have Lou back on for an update. This seems like an opportune moment but I was luck to catch Lou, only days before he departed for Antarctica for a planned two and half months.
In the following conversation I talk with Lou about the previous Antarctic crossing with the SPEAR17 team of Army reserves, his more recent crossing of Greenland as well as his preparation for his solo crossing of Antarctica, which is his biggest polar challenge yet.
Our conversation forms Episode 34 of the Paul Kirtley Podcast…
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