Britain's most daring nobleman-explorer promises to try again next year to walk unaided to the North Pole.
"We're going to do it," Sir Ranulph Fiennes, 43, said Thursday. "I've already booked the base camp."Fiennes, a baronet whose full family name is Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, made his comments after flying into London following the failure of his "Great British Polar Quest" to make the first conquest of the pole without using dogs, machines, air drops or any other form of support.
He, Oliver Shepard and Mike Stroud were forced by "appalling" weather conditions to abandon their walk after 15 days of struggle took them fewer than 40 miles.
"The conditions were quite unlike anything I've ever seen," said Fiennes, who has spent a significant part of his life in polar regions.
"We were in temperatures down to minus-60 centigrade even inside the tent. You could sit there and actually watch the frost flowers grow on the inside, even when we had the heaters on."
The ferocious arctic weather defeated several other pole-bound expeditions. Two, using dogs, got less than a quarter as far as the Fiennes team, which man-hauled 400-pound sled loads of everything needed for a 60-day walk across the 500 straight-line miles from Canada's Ward Hunt island to the pole.
Fiennes suffered frostbite in two toes, but said Thursday "it was not nearly as bad as on previous arctic attempts."