Pole star Roger goes south to help char­ity

Macclesfield Express - - NOSTALGIA - STU­ART GREER

IN­TREPID busi­ness­men went more than the ex­tra mile to raise cash for The Christie – by trekking to the South Pole.

Roger Wood, 57, founder of pet food firm MPM Prod­ucts in Mac­cles­field, was joined by two friends Graeme Shank­land and Ian Lan­g­ley on the epic trek through Antarc­tica.

They were rais­ing funds for spe­cial­ist can­cer hos­pi­tal The Christie, the Royal Air Force Benev­o­lent Fund and Kid­neys For Life.

Roger’s wife Gina was a kid­ney trans­plant re­cip­i­ent and was treated at The Christie be­fore she died of can­cer in 2015.

The trio hauled their own equip­ment sleds and camped each night on the Antarc­tic plateau in tem­per­a­tures that dipped to nearly -40 de­grees centi­grade.

The whole trip took place in 24-hour day­light and the team reached the South Pole marker af­ter 10 days.

In pre­par­ing for the chal­lenge, which took place in Jan­uary, the trio en­dured a five-day train­ing camp in arc­tic Nor­way, dur­ing which they were taught to erect tents in freez­ing con­di­tions and cross-coun­try ski while haul­ing equip­ment on sleds.

Even the jour­ney to the start was tough and in­volved a flight to Punta Are­nas in Chile, a so­vi­etera cargo jet to the Union Glacier base in Antarc­tica, and a 1943 DC3 Basler ski plane flight to 89 De­grees south.

From there the 111km cross coun­try ski to the South Pole reached al­ti­tudes of up to 10,000ft – a third of the height of Mount Ever­est.

Roger said: “The most re­mark­able part of the trek was the vid­ual as­pect. All you can see if hori­zon. There is just snow and sky. It’s hard to de­scribe un­less you’ve been there.

“It’s also men­tally tax­ing. Be­cause it is so cold you are wrapped up com­pletely and can­not speak to any­one while you walk. That leaves you alone with your thoughts un­til you stop for the night.”

The team sur­passed their £25,000 fundrais­ing tar­get but are keen to keep adding to the to­day via h t t p : / / uk. vir­gin­money­giv­ing. com/IanRoger.

Roger said: “The char­i­ties are both close to my heart. Kid­neys For Life and Christie be­cause of the help they gave Gina dur­ing her trans­plant then the can­cer 10 years later, and the Royal Air Force Benev­o­lent Fund be­cause my fa­ther was in Bomber Com­mand and passed away in 2015. I did it in mem­ory of them both.”

Roger Wood (in­set) af­ter reach­ing the South Pole

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