Veteran explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has sent his thanks to staff at William Twigg for their “brilliant engineering” of sledges for a record-breaking Antarctic trek.
Despite being forced to quit the 2,000 mile expedition owing to severe frostbite, Sir Ranulph Fiennes emailed the firm this week to say “thank you” for all the “key support” which is continuing to make the mission possible.
Twigg’s designed and fabricated the 14 special steel sledges – known as ‘skoots’ – to transport fuel for the expedition’s caterpillar tractors.
As the revered explorer relaxes after being forced to quit his leadership of the team bidding to make the first ever winter crossing of Antarctica, Sir Ranulph praised the firm’s “brilliant engineering”.
“The expedition is carrying on exactly as planned and on schedule to complete the first mechanised winter traverse of Antarctica and to complete our Science, Charity and Educational programmes. Only our Skiing goals have been dropped due to my injury,” he said.
Fiennes was forced to drop out of the record-breaking journey – which will be completed in temperatures as low as -70C – after he fell during training at a base camp in Antartica and developed frostbite after taking off his outer gloves in temperatures of -33C.
He said a surgeon had told him two of his fingers may need to be operated on.
Twigg’s director Richard Tarbatt and works manager Alan Boden, who designed and supervised production of the skoots, are following the expedition’s daily progress with close interest as the Finning tractors crawl inland through the Sor Rondane mountains.
“The skoots have now transported fuel to depots on the edge of the ice plateau in readiness for the start of the expedition on March 21 and all indications are that they are performing well,” said Richard.