16-Year-Old’s Perfect Holiday Hotspot: The South Pole


Most teenagers would choose to spend the holidays on a beach in Cancun or seeking thrills at an amusement park. Lewis Clarke is no typical 16-year-old!

Lewis, from Bristol, England, spent the last 7 weeks traveling along the Antarctic coast, and has now become the youngest person to ever reach the South Pole.

Accompanied by polar guide Carl Alvey, Lewis skied the 700-mile Hercules Inlet route, braving temperatures as low as -58F and winds as a strong as 120 mph. The duo trekked an average of eight hours a day, pulling their supplies behind them on a sled.

The two finally reached the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station last Saturday after 48 days on the ice.

Before embarking on his expedition, Lewis - who also holds the world record for being part of the youngest relay team to swim the English Channel - went through months of training in Norway, Greenland and on the beaches of Weston-super-Mare in England, but nothing could have prepared him for skiing the frozen landscape of Antarctica.

"I knew it would be hard, but it's harder than I ever thought it would be," he told the Telegraph when he still had 50 miles left to go.

"I think sometimes about how few people have done this," he said. "Only 300 in 100 years. And I'm doing it. That's pretty cool."

The teen's triumphant trek did more than give him an amazing story for the rest of his life. His expedition raised more than £2,000 ($3,284) for The Prince's Trust, a charity that gives financial and practical support to young people in need.

Clarke is still on the frozen continent right now, and will return home January 24. After seven weeks of living in below freezing temperatures, winter in England will feel like a tropical holiday!

Clarke will be submitting evidence of his journey to the Guinness Book of World Records. The former title-holder belonged to 18-year-old Sarah McNair Landry from Canada, who traveled the same coast-to-pole route in 2005.

Before Clarke, the South Pole was recently visited by another British adventurer. Prince Harry spent three weeks in December 2013 trekking to the South Pole with his Walking with the Wounded team, which included 12 servicemen and women who had suffered injuries, including blindness and amputations.

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