Old Oakhamian completes double Polar trek
Former pupil Julian Evans has walked his way into the record books this Christmas, completing a gruelling four week expedition to the South Pole, becoming one of only a handful of explorers to reach both the North and South Poles.
The 39 year old, who is head of healthcare at the property company Knight Frank, walked to the North Pole in 2008. Three years later, on Friday 9th December at 1.30am GMT, he reached the South Pole. The double of North and South Pole has only ever been achieved by approximately 100 people.
Julian was part of David Hempleman-Adams’ 10 man team to reach the South Pole. After completing his epic double, he spoke about the trek “We could see the South Pole station from about 13 nautical miles out so it was quite a torturous final day. However, compared to the North Pole, it was great to have a landmark to navigate to albeit it felt like an age to reach. To tread where heroes Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton have walked was a fantastic feeling. The South Pole is the holy grail for polar explorers and Antarctica is a stunning but unforgiving continent.”
The team battled adverse conditions to reach the Pole “We man hauled our sledges through temperatures around - 45c, some brutal winds but generally blue skies. The terrain was mainly uneven sastrugi over glacier plateaus. We had two white outs which proved challenging for navigation. There were also several occasions when areas of the ground, the size of a rugby pitch, dropped several inches below our feet, with a thunder like sound which was rather frightening! We think this was due either to crevasse fields or large pockets of air compressing underground. Another key challenge with the South Pole is that it's at altitude”.
Julian has raised around £40,000 for various charities including LandAid; The Matt Hampson Foundation; Myeloma UK; Progressive Supranuclear Palsy; Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and the Rainbow Trust.
You can read more about Old Oakhamians and the Oakham School Foundation here.