Mount Grylls

Bear Grylls in Antartica, Nov 2008
Bear Grylls and “three of my best buddies” will be going on an expedition to Antactica, to climb a 9,000 foot–high mountain, which has never been climbed before. After Grylls leads his team to the summit, they will be allowed to name the mountain.

But “Mount Grylls” is not the primary reason for this expedition — Bear Grylls wants to help save our planet. Yesterday, Grylls said:

In a weeks time I leave for an expedition I am leading down to Antarctica. We are aiming, first of all, to explore part of the remote Antarctic coastline where the great Southern Ocean meets the vast ice continental shelf. We will be doing this using a small bio-ethanol powered jet ski and small inflatable. I don’t expect it to be exactly easy. We will then aim to scale one of these ice shelves (many of which are over 600ft high). Less easy still, I predict. We will sleep in hanging bivouacs half way up this vertical ice wall before eventually hauling the jet ski and inflatable up over the ice face to continue on the mission. We will then be using kite-skis to harness the wind to move across the vast ice plateaus. The team then heads inland to Queen Maud Land in the Antarctic interior and the mighty peaks of one of the least explored regions of the huge continent. Here we set our sights on an attempt on one of the great unclimbed peaks on earth, as of yet un-named. From here we will use electric powered paragliders as a means of escape. These electric engined flying machines have been the holy grail of powered paragliding development — unlike the current fossil fuel burning smoky back-pack engines, these are whisper quiet and un-polluting. On top of this, the entire expedition base camp is powered by renewable energy, using solar panels supplied and a portable wind turbine. All of this is not easy, but in my experience easy is not where the worthwhile stuff happens. Easy doesn’t protect our earth. Easy doesn’t move people to action.

This expedition is sponsored by Ethanol Ventures which is helping to reduce UK’s dependence on petroleum products. By replacing gasoline, with products made mostly from surplus wheat, UK expects to improve their air quality, as if they removed 300,000 vehicles from the road.

“Good Luck” to Bear Grylls and his friends on their expedition, where temperatures are expected to drop to 35 degrees below zero.

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