Could pair be first to reach pole?

Frazer Waller is taking part in a groundbreaking polar expedition
Frazer Waller is taking part in a groundbreaking polar expedition

An intrepid budding explorer could be the first to reach the last pole not yet conquered by man.

Stuart Rance, 23, from Tring will leave behind his regular life as a tree surgeon, and his girlfriend Octavia, 18 to take on the challenge next year.

Stuart Rance from Tring is taking part in an expedition to reach the last uncharted Northern Pole

Stuart Rance from Tring is taking part in an expedition to reach the last uncharted Northern Pole

He will be training alongside seasoned polar explorer Jim McNeill, and 27 others to reach the as-yet-uncharted Northern Pole of Inaccessibility.

Dubbed ‘the last true world first’ the journey is over 800 miles across treacherous sea-ice in one of the toughest environments on earth.

The team, lead by McNeill will have to fend off being hunted by polar bears, moving ice flows and the bitter cold to reach their final destination.

And Stuart, who also works as a survival instructor in his spare time couldn’t be more excited.

Stuart, who went to Tring School, said: “I’m definitely nervous, but I can’t wait, it doesn’t really feel like it’s definitely going to happen yet.

“You hear all these stories about people who go to the Arctic and never come back. But I’m really excited to do the Polar training in Canada.”

And this is not the first time that Stuart has taken on a freezing challenge.

He said: “I did an expedition before to northern Sweden, which was minus 30 degrees.

“We started in a cabin and went cross country skiing, we also built ice holes and igloos to sleep in for the night.”

The expedition will take 80 days to complete and will begin in mid-February.

During the challenge four teams of explorers will take on different roles, collecting vital scientific information which will help to determine how climate change is affecting the region.

Frazer Waller, 39, a former photographer for our sister paper the Milton Keynes Citizen will also be taking part in the challenge.

He and Stuart have teamed up to raise awareness of the project in Bucks, in the hope that local firms will offer to sponsor elements of the attempt.

Frazer said: “As a photographer I have always dreamed off working for someone like National Geographic, and documenting expeditions.

“I thought this would be an amazing opportunity. We will see polar bears, arctic hares, foxes and even a bird which keeps itself warm by pecking into the ice covered water.”