Friday 24th June 2016 – 2.15pm – Claire Brown.
A paramedic from Birmingham is set to join a team of fellow army reservists on a gruelling charity expedition to the South Pole later this year.
At the age of 16, Chris Brooke joined the army and served with the Cheshire Regiment. In 2010, he started his career as a paramedic and has worked for West Midlands Ambulance Service since 2012 based in Birmingham.
His love of the Army remains and, as a serving reservist, Chris has been successful in joining a six-man team from the British Army Reserves for an expedition like no other to the South Pole in a bid to raise £100,000 for the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF), the soldiers’ charity.
In November, the team called SPEAR17′ (South Pole Expedition Army Reserves), will be dropped by ski plane on the coastline of Antarctica. From there they will attempt to ski over 1,100 miles unsupported across the polar continent to the Geographic South Pole. Each man will be hauling an individual pulk (a type of sledge used to transport supplies) weighing approximately 160kg containing everything they need to survive for three months on the ice.
The expedition will face many challenges along the way including the harsh polar weather, crevasses, whiteout conditions, a climb from sea level to 10,000ft, isolation from the outside world and the constant mental and physical battle of manhauling their pulks across the ice.
Chris, 34 from Cofton Hackett, is an avid supporter of ABF and said: “I’m always striving for new challenges and adventures but this is nothing like I’ve ever experienced before and is a once in a life time opportunity. I’m looking forward to it but a part of me is naturally apprehensive too. Antarctica is the coldest (-93°C), windiest and most inhospitable place on the planet but I’m told it’s also one of the most beautiful and rewarding places to travel in. It will test my endurance and physical fitness to the limit and, as you’d expect there’s lots of training to be done beforehand.
“Over 4,000 people have summited Everest, but only a handful have walked unsupported to the South Pole and it’s something that Army Reserves have never attempted before. We’re hoping to raise this money to help those service personnel that require it most. ABF is a charity close to my heart and it’s a very exciting opportunity to be part of a fundraising event like this.”
To donate, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/spear17. The team are also on the lookout for corporate partners so if you’d like to provide sponsorship please visit www.spear17.org/supporters/support-us/.
Notes to Editor:
Photo 1 – Chris pictured in Norway during final team selection in January
Photo 2 – Chris at work.
Photo 3 – SPEAR17 team (left to right) Alex Brazier, Ollie Stoten, Expedition Leader Lou Rudd, paramedic Chris Brooke, Ian Quigley (*reserve), Alun George, Matt Brocklehurst (reserve), Jamie Facer-Childs.
*reserves are two extra people in case any member of the team of six SPEAR17 drops out.
The team are currently being sponsored by 7R Performance, Mountain Equipment and CNP.