Frostbite wrecks Yeadon adventurer's Greenland trek

IT'S mission incomplete for a devastated Ben Thackwray who had to abort his journey across Greenland after an attack of frostbite on his thumb.

The adventurer from Yeadon was just three days into a planned 12-day mission when frostbite riddled his hand – a condition which can lead to amputation.

But pulling out of the trip was much more of a blow to Ben who said: "It's only a thumb – it's not a leg or hand!"

The 28-year-old and friend Ian Couch, 39, decided to abandon their mission just 50km into the 370-mile coast to coast journey.

They had hoped to complete it in 12 days or less in a bid to break records.

The pair had nailed the hard bit after climbing steep hills, scaling glaciers and avoiding crevasses.

But once they got to the flat part where they could pick up the pace, disaster struck.

"We are both very disappointed but I am personally devastated, not about my hand, but about everything else that goes with it.

"We were pushing hard in some bad conditions as we were trying to make up the distance. We were trying to do it as quickly as possible," said Ben.

"My hands were cold but still working and had movement so I was a little bit surprised when I took my glove off – it was black and blistered."

They contacted the Greenland Police and went to hospital where the injury was treated before flying back to Leeds.

"I have lost the sensation in a couple of fingers and my thumb on my right hand.

"I am definitely not going to lose it. To be honest I was more bothered about the trip!"

But with the kits, sponsorship, route and training in place, Ben and Ian – who is from Norwich but has family in Harrogate – are determined to complete the mission next April.

The Greenland trip was planned as a "warm up" to a South Pole expedition in 2010.

Members of the reformed writing club Savage, pictured at Temple Works (Temple Mill), on Marshall Street, Holbeck, Leeds. Pictured (left to right) Robert St-John Smith, Peter Etherington, Heather Lloyd, Phil Kirby, Maria Protopapadaki-Smith (correct), Ivor Tymchak and Jamie Newman.

Campaigners urge new owners of cherished Leeds mill to reach out - and ‘help us tell and re-tell the Temple Works story’