Record-breaking South Pole bid begins

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Luke Robertson has started his record-breaking bid to reach the South Pole, Antarctica after departing from Hercules Inlet on Saturday.

A year after major brain surgery and fitted with a pacemaker, 30 year old Luke Robertson is seeking to become the first Scot to undertake a solo, unassisted and unsupported expedition to the South Pole.

While guaranteed a white Christmas, Luke will be spending it on his own in temperatures of -50 degrees Celsius and with 100mph winds.

Before even setting foot on Antarctica, Edinburgh-based Luke already managed to raise over £33,000 for MarieCurie, smashing his target of £25,000.

He is raising money for cancer care after undergoing surgery last year to remove a large brain mass, which was suspected to be cancerous. 

While it turned out to be a rare enterogenous cyst, the experience of weeks in the neurology ward, sharing time with cancer patients, has motivated Luke to undertake this trip for a charitable cause.

Luke travelled to Punta Arenas in Patagonia, Chile three weeks ago with fiancée Hazel and after final equipment preparation and checks, flew to Antarctica two weeks ago with over 120kg of equipment, which he will pull behind him in a sled to the South Pole.

The flight to Union Glacier, Antarctica itself was record-breaking as the 757 plane was the first commercial passenger jet to land on the frozen continent.

Shortly after arriving at the Union Glacier camp, the weather deteriorated and the short flight to Hercules Inlet – the expedition start point at the edge of Antarctica – was delayed for 10 days.

However, a weather window appeared yesterday afternoon (Saturday 5th December) and so after almost 2 weeks of delay, Luke has finally been able to begin his 730 mile, 35-40 day expedition to the South Pole.

Luke will be able to update social media during his record-breaking attempt via a satellite device.

Supporters can also track Luke’s progress live on his website at: www.duesouth2015.com by clicking on the map, where they can send Luke motivational messages to keep him going.