South west adventurer achieves the explorers' 'Grand Slam'
Newall Hunter has become only the second Briton and the fourteenth person in the world to achieve the coveted explorers' Grand Slam
A compilation of the achievements of Newall Hunter from Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire having now achieved the Explorers’ Grand Slam.
A south west adventurer has become only the second Briton and the fourteenth person in the world to achieve the coveted explorers’ Grand Slam by having climbed the highest peaks on each of the seven continents and reached both the North and South Poles.
After enduring several days of bad weather, thick snow and temperatures as low as –40°C, Newall Hunter is now safely home in from Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire having arrived at the summit of Denali in Alaska (see Editors’ notes) on Friday 24 June to complete the challenge.
This was the culmination of more than thirteen years of climbing and skiing to the most remote corners of the world to accomplish this feat.
Speaking about his experience he said: “This has been my aim for many years. The main reason for it taking so long is that I wanted to do it without any external funding or sponsorship which has meant working and saving for each expedition myself.”
Around eighteen months ago as part of his quest Newall became the first Briton to ski the gruelling 911km (570 miles) in a 41 day solo trip to the South Pole from the Messner Start on the Filchner Ice Shelf at the edge of the Antarctic continent.
He reached the South Pole having spent his birthday on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and seeing in the New Year pulling two heavy sleds with his equipment across the polar ice cap when at times visibility was so bad he could not see beyond the end of his skis. At one point the snow collapsed beneath his skis to reveal a gaping crevasse.
There are no half measures for Newall. This was the Full Adventurers Grand Slam that he has achieved as opposed to the Last Degree Grand Slam which he explained was the one which most adventurers are undertaking nowadays as it only involves travelling the last 60 nautical miles to both Poles. “That’s easy” he said.
This time he only had to endure days of strong winds, snow and extreme sub-zero temperatures. By the time he arrived at the mountain just 20% of those who had attempted the climb this year had managed to reach the top.
His daily journal describes some of the discomfort that he had to endure:
Not moved in 4 days. Still at 14000ft camp. This storm is really hitting now. I’m digging tent out every 1 to 2 hours now to stop it collapsing.
Newall added: “Now that I am at home with my equipment unpacked and stowed in its cupboard I am beginning to wonder what’s next!”
For more information on how Newall’s achieved the Grand Slam visit his website at www.newallhunter.com.
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