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Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 20:20 GMT
'North Pole next', explorer tells Charles
Tom Avery
Mr Avery battled temperatures of minus 30C
An explorer who briefly became the youngest Britain to reach the South Pole on foot has told Prince Charles about plans for a new polar trek.

Tom Avery, a 27-year-old ski company worker, who is originally from Ticehurst, East Sussex, reached the South Pole after trekking 702 miles across the Antarctic.

Mr Avery said it was a great honour to meet Prince Charles, who had spoken to the four-man team by satellite phone a few days before they reached their goal in December.

He met the Prince at St James's Palace in London on Wednesday, where they discussed future fundraising projects for the Prince's Trust.

Prince Charles
The Prince telephoned the team on Christmas Eve

Mr Avery said: "We had been raising money for the Prince's Trust and we are going to be doing a series of lectures on adventures to schools.

"We hope to do a trip to the North Pole in a couple of years, but the preparations for that take quite a lot of time.

"We have got a few others lined up as well, maybe Siberia and Greenland as well."

Two other members of the trekking team, television assistant Patrick Woodhead, who is a month older than Mr Avery, and 28-year-old South African Andrew Gerber also met the Prince.

Raging winds

One member of the team, 45-year-old Paul Landry, was unable to attend.

With his team, Mr Avery also beat the world record for walking to the South Pole in a time of 45 days and six hours.

They battled temperatures of minus 30C with winds raging at an average of 30mph.

After leaving on 17 November last year, the team reached their destination on 28 December.

Despite becoming a record breaker, Mr Avery only held his title for a short time.

Five days after he reached the South Pole, 23-year-old Andrew Cooney from Nottinghamshire also completed the task and took the record.


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30 Dec 02 | England
28 Dec 02 | England
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