The Army in Antarctica

Spirit of Endurance

Crossing Antarctica

In November 2018 Capt Louis Rudd set out to cross Antarctica - 1,500 km alone, on foot and without resupply. On 28 Dec 2018, after 56 days, Capt Louis Rudd became the first Briton to cross Antarctica solo, unsupported and unassisted.

Using all the training and experience gathered from his 33-year military career, Lou hauled 165kg of kit and food supplies for 1500km across the driest, coldest and most inhospitable continent on the planet.

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Captain Louis Rudd MBE - the explorer

In 2011/12, along with Henry Worsley, Louis successfully completed an 800 mile, 68 day unsupported expedition from The Bay of Whales to the South Pole, via the Axel Heiberg Glacier, following the original route of Roald Amundsen.

In 2016/17 Louis led the SPEAR 17 Army Reserves expedition, successfully completing a 67 day 1,100 mile complete traverse of Antarctica from Hercules Inlet via the South Pole to the Shackleton Glacier. This was the first British team to do so, for which he was awarded an MBE. In 2017 he won the Sun Military Award for ‘Inspiring Others’ and the Prince of Wales Ulysses Trust Award for best Army Reserve Expedition 2017.

With his 33 years of military service and with the addition of extensive polar experience Louis is in a unique position to attempt this current record breaking journey.


About the expedition

For centuries Antarctica remained unexplored and unknown and only in the last hundred or so years have people discovered the secrets of the last continent. The name of the expedition pays tribute to Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition and aims to complete Shackleton’s original plan to traverse the continent on foot. The aim of the 2018/19 Spirit Of Endurance expedition is to achieve the greatest of all polar challenges and complete Sir Ernest Shackleton’s intended mission.

The extraordinary feat of a solo, unsupported & unassisted traverse of Antarctica is right at the limits of human endurance and has never before been achieved. Sadly, a recent attempt by Louis’ close friend, Lt Colonel Henry Worsley MBE, Polar Medal, ended tragically in 2016. This hugely ambitious and challenging expedition has been a personal ambition of Louis’ for some time and in part inspired by his friend Henry and his polar legacy.


Capt Louis Rudd MBE

Captain Louis Rudd, British Army, in 2018 was honoured at Buckingham Palace with an MBE for his work in Polar Exploration.
Leading six Reservist soldiers, Capt Rudd wanted to take the first ever British team to Antarctica to traverse the continent.

During the planning Capt Rudd’s dear friend, Lt Col Henry Worsley died following another record-breaking attempt in Antarctica. The team immediately decided to add the remaining miles of Henry’s expedition onto theirs, to complete his route in tribute to this pioneering explorer.