Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

Ernest Shackleton's Great Grandson Completes Antarctica Quest in a Hyundai Sante Fe

Ernest Shackleton's Great Grandson Completes Antarctica Quest in a Hyundai Sante Fe

Shackleton planned to cross the frozen continent via the South Pole but his ship was trapped in the ice; he later left to find help, and eventually returned to rescue the entire crew.

The expedition saw Patrick and a small team take on nearly 5,800km of icy terrain in bitter conditions - finishing the journey Shackleton never completed.

British tech entrepreneur Patrick Bergel has become the first man to drive a vehicle across the Antarctic, completing the feat 100 years after his great grandfather, explorer Ernest Shackleton, failed to cross the icy continent on foot.

Over the period of 30 days, Bergel and the Santa Fe covered more than 3,600 miles from the Union Glacier to the McMurdo research station in temperatures as low as -28 degrees Celsius.

"I like to think, he'd be proud and pleased that a member of his family had finally pulled off something that he'd tried to do", Bergel told Reuters in London.

This was the first time a passenger vehicle had ever traversed the Antarctic continent and the 2.2-litre Santa Fe used by Bergel featured only a handful of modifications to counter the tough Antarctic conditions, such as the fitment of large, low-pressure tyres, a 250-litre fuel tank and a pre-heater for the cold.

Tony Whitehorn, president and chief executive of Hyundai UK, said: "This new Endurance edition offers customers an incredibly well-equipped Santa Fe, one that will be able to tackle everything family life throws at it, and more".

Patrick Bergel said: "The journey was incredible and the auto was a pleasure to drive. It was a proper expedition with a challenge to accomplish that nobody else had done before", said Bergel in a statement. It was about endurance not speed - we only averaged only 27km/h - and success was about how we and the vehicle handled it. I'm very reluctant to make direct comparisons between what my great grandfather did and what we've done recently. So it was a big cultural shift - and it was quite something to have been the first to do this.

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