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Terra Nova Quasar Tent On The Coldest Journey

Posted on February 13th, 2013

Terra Nova Equipment has provided Sir Ranulph Fiennes with a tent for his ‘The Coldest Journey’ expedition.  We were approached by Sir Ranulph in early 2012, before the full details of the expedition were made public, with a request for a tent.   The expedition has taken a Quasar tent, Sir Ranulph said he chose Terra Nova “as your tents have never let us down in the past nightmare conditions”.

The Quasar  was first designed over 25 years ago and has earned itself a reputation as one of the most robust expedition tents available. Although Terra Nova tents are regularly used in polar conditions, the extremely low temperatures of the Antarctic winter mean that a silicon coated flysheet was better suited to the conditions and this is what the team have taken.  The tent underwent cold room tests last September to see how it performed in the low temperatures expected during the expedition.

The Expedition

‘The Coldest Journey’ expedition aims to complete the first ever winter crossing of Antarctica – a journey over the ice of 2,000 miles which will take place in near permanent darkness and in temperatures as low as -80c. A winter traverse of the Antarctic is widely regarded as the last true remaining polar challenge.


SA Agulhas, the South African ice-breaker set sail from London on 6th December and arrived in Eastern Antarctica on 20th January 2013. After setting up base camp expedition members are testing and checking all of the equipment, laying a fuel depot, carrying out scientific work as well as route reconnaissance.

Scheduled for a departure date of March 21st 2013, the crossing from Crown Bay, via the South Pole, to Captain Scott’s base at McMurdo Sound, will take six months – mostly in complete darkness – and span more than 2,000 miles. In total, the team will spend an estimated 273 days on the ice, and once under way, travel at an average of 35km per day. They expect to reach McMurdo Sound around 21stSeptember 2013 and are due to leave Antarctica in February 2014.

Scientific Study

The expedition will also provide unique and invaluable scientific research that will help climatologists, as well as forming the basis for an education programme that will reach up to 100,000 schools across the Commonwealth.

Research will include the ground-truth calibration of the recently launched Cryosat (satellite) which will continuously measure the mass of the Antarctic ice-cap and give evidence of the existence and extent of global warming / climate change. As well as collecting data similar to that taken during the Antarctic summer.  The expedition ship will also undertake an important scientific programme which will include plankton sampling along the edge of the sea ice from McMurdo Sound to the Antarctic Peninsula. This will lead to a greater understanding of the density and distribution of the marine biomass in the region by complementing research previously undertaken on the other side of Antarctica.

From all at Terra Nova, we wish the Sir Ranulph Fiennes and his team a fantastic and safe journey!


Product Information: The Quasar Tent


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