The Last Great Explorer
December 28, 2012 7:11 AM   Subscribe

Sir Ranulph Twistleton-Wickham-Fiennes is 68 years old, a cancer survivor, and he's preparing to tackle a six month 2,000 mile trek across Antarctica at night. Partially to raise money for charity, but mostly because if he doesn't accomplish it, someone else might manage it instead.
posted by BZArcher (18 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Can I pay him not to do that?

I mean, I thought "firsties" was gauche now.
posted by inturnaround at 7:16 AM on December 28, 2012

If Sir Ranulph Twistleton-Wickham-Fiennes, third baronet and old Etonian, had never existed, then John Buchan or Ian Fleming Monty Python would surely have invented him.
posted by at 7:24 AM on December 28, 2012 [7 favorites]

Is he going to do the funny walk?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:28 AM on December 28, 2012

What a fascinating dude. That totally reads like a piece of adventure fiction.

Unrelated: I wish there was a Greasemonkey script for sites such as this that would put the goddamned periods and commas inside the quotes. Drives me nuts.
posted by jbickers at 7:32 AM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Back in the UK, although advised by his surgeon to wait for the remaining healthy tissue to regrow before his fingers could be amputated, he famously did the job himself, with a hacksaw.

What the hell? The guy is a complete nutjob. I mean, I'm all for balls-out crazy, and I'll be interested in seeing how the expedition goes, but wow.
posted by thelastcamel at 7:34 AM on December 28, 2012

Are you seriously telling me that this guy is named Ra[n]ulph Wi[ckha]m?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:38 AM on December 28, 2012

He does it, not because it's there, but because the bastard Norwegians are.
posted by Segundus at 7:39 AM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

The expedition website is well worth visiting, and includes details about Seeing is Believing, the charity for which funds are being raised.
posted by valleys at 7:51 AM on December 28, 2012

His greatest accomplishment is that despite being one of the last great explorers, he still manages to look vaguely disappointed most of the time.
posted by the painkiller at 8:01 AM on December 28, 2012 [4 favorites]

To properly understand the insanity of treking in the Antarctic in winter, check out Cherry-Garrard's The Worst Journey in the World.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 8:28 AM on December 28, 2012 [4 favorites]

Sir Ranulph Fiennes is already missing most of his digits from frostbite, so he's got that going for him.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:49 AM on December 28, 2012

He just wants to follow in the footsteps of his hero and fellow antarctic explorer Sir Basleton Chapped-Lipped-Olde-Chap.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:28 AM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Upperclass twit of the year!
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:07 AM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ran Fiennes is a genuine goddamn explorer. He came and lectured at my school after the TransGlobe expedition. He is a genuine hard-ass and extremely interesting. About the farthest thing from an Upper Class twit of the year that you can get.
posted by arcticseal at 10:30 AM on December 28, 2012 [7 favorites]

Perhaps twit is unfair, but then explorer would be as well. He's an adventurer of the first degree, with, perhaps, the misfortune of having a Pythonesquely comical name.
posted by OHenryPacey at 11:14 AM on December 28, 2012

When I saw his name, I was sure this was going to be an obit thread. Hugely relieved to see I was wrong.

He was the second post I ever did here, and one of the few people that I can honestly say deserves the title of Legend.
posted by quin at 12:05 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sir Ranulph is incredible. Even if people at first think he's a mispronunciation of one of his cousins.

(A brilliant idea I know will never happen: a BBC documentary series covering an epic trek made by Ranulph Fiennes and Michael Palin.)
posted by subbes at 6:31 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

For some reason I imagine Fiennes hates Palin with a passion.

A proper posh person, none of this controlling the country to obtain things as base as money and power. We need more posh people freezing to death in far off places and channelling the family fortune into weirdly named institutes dedicated to obscure research.
posted by fullerine at 4:25 AM on December 29, 2012

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