Spirit of Endurance

A solo, unsupported and unassisted crossing of Antarctica, although attempted, has never yet been completed. Captain Louis Rudd is setting out to traverse 1,500km of Antarctica.

Crossing Antarctica

It is the purest and most challenging form of polar travel. From Shackleton’s 1914-17 Endurance expedition, to the modern era, successive expeditions have attempted to ski across the driest, coldest, most inhospitable continent on the planet.

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 set to 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.

Louis Rudd, a soldier, who has specialised polar experience – who led the award-winning SPEAR17 expedition and race to the South Pole with Henry Worsley in 2011 – is setting out to traverse 1,500km, alone and without resupply. Hauling 165kg of kit and food supplies, the journey will take over 2 months - using every moment of the short weather window which represents the Antarctic expedition season.

Louis will use all the training and experience gathered from years of soldiering – including tours of the high arctic – to fly the flag for the British Army. This extreme challenge will showcase the determination, discipline, exemplary training and the capacity to endure which epitomises the British army.

Captain Louis Rudd

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 SPEAR17 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. 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 record-breaking journey.