Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

Trek to save Captain Scott's hut

By Angie Brown
BBC Scotland news website, Edinburgh and East reporter

Scott's Hut at Cape Evans
Scott's Hut at Cape Evans is in Antarctica

Two former Edinburgh students are to trek in gruelling conditions to the South Pole raising cash to save an Antarctic hut used by Captain Scott.

Gavin Booth, 33, and Adam Wilton, 30, have so far raised 20,000 towards The Discovery Hut, at Hut Point, which needs 3m to be restored

The hut is at risk after almost 100 years of harsh weather.

The pair leave from Edinburgh on Friday evening for South America and arrive at the edge of Antarctica on 8 November.

Mr Booth, a surveyor who studied Geography at Edinburgh University, told the BBC Scotland news website he was under no illusion about the "serious business" of trekking 1,130km to the South Pole.

We have trained for the trip by doing ultra-marathons in hot climates and a month-long trek in the north of Greenland
Gavin Booth
He said: "We will be in a very harsh environment pulling all our equipment and food we need for the 55 days on sledges.

"It will be 10-hour days and we won't be there until Christmas.

"We have trained for the trip, though, by doing ultra-marathons in hot climates and a month-long trek in the north of Greenland.

"It has taken us four years to organise, so I am excited now that we are finally going and I am confidant we will come back with all our fingers and toes, although I am under no illusion that this is a serious business.

"My mum will be glad when she sees us return home."

Property investment company Prop Invest has sponsored the trip so that any money they raise goes towards Scott's hut.

They also spoke to several polar experts to learn about the terrain and conditions they will be facing.

The Antarctic Heritage Trust wants UK funding to restore the hut after the work was turned down for Lottery funding.

The UK Government said there was not enough money for heritage projects in the UK, let alone ones abroad.

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