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LSE student to trek 600 miles to the South Pole

Garrick HilemanIn December 2011 Garrick Hileman (pictured), a postgraduate student in the Department of Economic History at LSE, will be part of a team of five trekking from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole. The trek aims to inspire blind and partially sighted people and raise awareness and funds for two sight-related charities.

Garrick will be joined by team mates Richard Smith, Andrew Jensen, Andrew Cooney and Alan Lock. Alan, who suffers from macular degeneration and has limited sight, is also aiming to set the record for the first visually impaired person to complete this journey.

The team will be taking on one of the toughest endurance challenges in the world - to trek, unsupported, from the coast of Antarctica all the way to the South Pole. They will cover a distance of nearly 600 miles, expending over 7,000 calories per day and taking on one of the harshest environments on the planet. Only about 100 people have completed the trek on foot before. Their expedition will also coincide with the 100th anniversary of the original race to the South Pole between explorers Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen.

Garrick said: ‘The challenge of this trek holds undeniable appeal. It's a two month epic of dragging a 45 kilo sled across the continent in fierce arctic weather, which relatively few people have completed. But the main appeal for me personally is to take a personal achievement and to turn it into something bigger than simply “look what I accomplished”. My team mate Alan's story is very inspiring. To play a part in his accomplishing something that no other partially sighted person has done before gives this real meaning.’

The team will be supporting two charities, Sightsavers International and Guide Dogs for the Blind in the United States. Donations will be split between these organisations and the team hopes that its endeavours will not only raise much needed funds, but will also increase awareness and generate invaluable publicity for these worthwhile causes.

For more information, visit the Polar Vision website or email Garrick at g.hileman@lse.ac.uk.