Hurstpierpoint adventurer completes Antarctic challenge for Rockinghorse Children’s Charity and Kidscape
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Rockinghorse (www.rockinghorse.org.uk) announced the news on Monday, February 5, saying that Josh Braid, 39, spent December at the South Pole.
They said Josh, who works for Knight Frank real estate agents, had been planning the trip for ten years and was inspired by a journey his great uncle made to the South Pole in 1961. Josh’s fundraising page at givestar.io has raised almost £30,000 so far.
Josh said: “It was such an incredible feeling to have realised a dream, that started when I became fascinated with photos of my Norwegian Great Uncle over 10 years earlier. To stand at a point on Earth where every direction is North and a location stepped in history from the early polar explorers of Amundsen and Scott having stood there 113 years earlier, was such a privilege.”
Rockinghorse said Josh left the UK on December 12 with the goal of climbing Mt Vinson (4,892m) in Antarctica and pulling a specially made rocking horse to the South Pole afterwards. They said he arrived in Chile on December 15 and flew across Drake’s Passage to the main base camp at Union Glacier.
Josh said: “The scenery coming into land was like another planet, and we had to be careful not to slip over on the blue ice runway.”
The charity said Josh then flew 40 minutes to base camp in the Ellsworth mountain range to get to Mt Vinson and left base camp December 21 to get to the Low Camp nine hours later. Then after a rest day, the group went up the 1,000m roped section to High Camp, which took more than ten hours because of severe altitude sickness. The group arrived at the summit of Mt Vinson at 7.03pm on Christmas Eve.
Josh said: “It was an incredible view of endless white iced mountains in all directions with a gentle breeze but sunny blue skies. The 24-hour daylight meant that the mountain could be climbed at any time of the day, and it was such a privilege to stand on top of Antarctica’s highest mountain with just my team."
Rockinghorse said planes then took them back to Union Glacier before they skied to the South Pole while Josh dragged his rocking horse behind him.
Rockinghorse, the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton, said Josh has been supporting them since 2021. They said in 2022 he and his wife saw their work first-hand after welcoming twin boys. Rockinghorse said one was cared for in the special care baby unit while the other underwent an operation. Rockinghorse added that Kidscape, the award-winning bullying prevention charity, is also close to Josh’s heart. Visit www.kidscape.org.uk.
This challenge was sponsored by Knight Frank, Dynamic Climate and London Metric.
Emma Cunliffe, supporter engagement manager at Rockinghorse, said: “We are so thankful to Josh for all this continued support, and we can’t wait to see what he gets up to next.”
Paula Timms, Kidscape CEO, said: “All of us at Kidscape are in awe of Josh Braid’s amazing endeavour, not least the dedication and commitment of his family and supporters who have helped prepare for, train for and then complete the expedition to the South Pole.”