Leeds naval officer’s Antarctic trek EXCLUSIVE

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One hundred years after a Leeds explorer joined Captain Scott on an ill-fated expedition to the South Pole, another of the city’s sons has pulled on his crampons in the ‘Spirit of Scott’.

Naval officer Rob Tristram, 29, from Roundhay, is one of just 24 British serving officers taking part in a two-month scientific exploration of some of the remotest parts of the Antarctic, which is currently under way.

Together they are investigating climate change as part of the British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012 (BSAE), at the Antarctic Peninsula, which is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet.

Unlike other expeditions seeking to follow in Scott’s footsteps in 2012, the BSAE is travelling in the ‘Spirit of Scott’, but not in his tracks.

Lt Tristram, pictured above, front, has been training for the assignment for the last two years.

He was inspired by Captain Lawrence Oates, who for a time lived in Meanwood.

Oates famously walked into a blizzard to his death, after his own ill health began compromising his companions’ chances of survival on the Antarctic Terra Nova Expedition, led by Captain Robert Scott.

In an email to the YEP, Lt Tristram, who is part of the BSAE Green team, wrote: “I’ve just got back from the mountains to the support boat following a week [pulling sledges].

“The weather has been very changeable. Yesterday we made it to the Avery Plateau 1500 meters up. It was about -25C and I had frost in my beard for the first time.

“At sea level it can feel quite warm in the sun but as soon as a cloud comes over then the temperature drops really fast. It can be exceptionally cold even though it is summer here.

“Blue team are now on the plateau having been launched up there by Green team – their science is detailed on the website.

“Red and Green team are exploring; we have a team on a peak as I type this.

“Spirits are high and we have really good food which helps.”

Follow the BSAE as they make history online at: www.bsae2012.co.uk/blog.html