With a passion for exploration and adventure, Antarctica 2023 is one of the most audacious expeditions ever undertaken.
Cornwalls was proud to be part of this exceptional journey and to be named the Official Legal Sponsor of the expedition.
When Sydney Principals, Glenn Hughes and Sarah Bullock, joined ‘Team Antarctica’ in 2021, they were in awe of Dr Gareth Andrews and Dr Richard Stephens, and the incredible task they were setting out to achieve. Gareth, an Anaesthetist, and Richard, an Emergency Physician, intended to create history by completing the longest unsupported ski crossing of Antarctica, collecting vital climate change data along the way.
Gareth and Richard are dedicated critical care doctors and have worked on the COVID-19 frontline since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, they are polar explorers, passionate about climate change, exploration and adventure, and have a deep respect and sense of wonder at the natural world and the Earth’s great wild places. In deciding to embark on the expedition, Gareth and Richard had 2 main objectives: to collect critical climate and meteorological data and to inspire a generation of young people to conserve Antarctica into the future.
After 3 years of meticulous planning and preparation, Gareth and Richard arrived at the Union Glacier on 12 November 2022. With sleds weighing 165kgs, they set off 2 days later. They had supplies for a 66-day, 2,023 kilometre journey from the north coast of Berkner Island to the base of the Reedy Glacier on the Ross Ice Shelf – a formidable, but not impossible, challenge.
To complete the expedition, weather and snow conditions would have had to be favourable for the duration of the expedition. However, Antarctica threw extreme challenges at the explorers. Poor weather conditions, temperatures below -40 degrees Celsius (with windchill) and more than 380 kilometres of solid sastrugi – huge waves of ice, some 2.5 metres high and as big as small houses (a knife’s edge at the top, and difficult to navigate with a 165kg sled) – severely hampered their progress.
After pushing the boundaries of what’s humanly possible through some of Antarctica’s toughest and most remote terrain, Gareth and Richard made the difficult decision to end their expedition at the South Pole. At 6:30pm on 18 January 2023, they successfully finished their journey, skiing from the outer edge of Antarctica to the South Pole, completing a full unsupported South Pole ski expedition of 1,404 kilometres in 66 days.
Cornwalls is very proud to have been part of this extraordinary expedition and to have helped, in our small way, the global fight against climate change. Since 2021, Glenn and Sarah have donated countless hours to Gareth and Richard, and to the broader team, to ensure all their legal requirements were met.
The entire Cornwalls team was with Antarctica 2023, every step of the way and we congratulate Gareth, Richard and the entire Antarctica 2023 team on their unprecedented success.
“After being dropped off on the edge of Berkner Island 66 days before, we have finally reached the end of our journey. We have pushed as hard as our bodies could go. No rest days, late starts or early finishes – we gave it everything, every day”.
– Dr Gareth Andrews
Check out some of the amazing expedition photos below, including a picture of Gareth and Richard holding our flag at the finish line, making us the first law firm to reach the South Pole!
For more detail of the expedition, and daily records of the explorer’s expedition, you can visit the Antarctica 2023 website here.