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Bad news, TopGear.commers: one of TG’s heroes, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, has had to pull out of his latest expedition to cross Antarctica.

The veteran explorer - and one of Top Gear magazine’s Men of the Year 2012 - developed a debilitating case of frostbite during the early stage of the trip that ended his involvement; an involvement that would have seen him ski some 2,000 miles in near darkness.

He is currently being transported by skidoo back to the Princess Elizabeth station, about 70km away from his current position, to then be flown to Novo to get a connecting flight back to Cape Town.

So what does this mean for the rest of the expedition? A spokesperson for Finning UK - the suppliers of the awesome CAT bulldozers used on the trip - said the remaining members have “unanimously elected to continue with the winter crossing of Antarctica, under the leadership of Traverse Manager Brian Newham”.

The expedition has already got to a point where it can establish a supply depot on the Antarctic plateau, and thus gives them a great start to begin the crossing scheduled for 21 March.

And as for Sir Ran, we’re told once his injuries have healed, he’ll continue to support the expedition by fundraising and promoting awareness of the ‘Coldest Journey’, through the chosen charity Seeing is Believing.

From all here at TG, get well soon Sir Ranulph, and to the expedition: good luck chaps!

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