Staffordshire firefighters Brian Roy, Andy Topham and Jason Humphreys will be travelling to Switzerland to tackle the 14,000 ft Mount Matterhorn on May 7 as part of their training preparation for the 2012 South Pole Race.
The team, named Fire and Ice GB, have already been training hard on a daily basis for the challenge which will see them set off from the edge of the Antarctic continent to ski across the coldest, driest and windiest continent on earth, battling temperatures of – 51°C for 18-20 hours a day.
The expedition in May will allow the team to train together in more realistic conditions, including altitude and skills training, which will be more technical than their current daily training and will require mental as well as physical endurance.
"This will be a major training trip for us, as Mount Matterhorn has over 25 routes to take and we intend to cover as many of them as possible. "We are currently training separately as it is difficult to find the time to train together with the three of us being stationed at different fire stations. The week in Switzerland will allow us to work together as a team to improve stamina and survival skills."
Brian Roy, Risk Reduction Officer
The team have so far raised a large proportion of the sponsorship money needed to compete in the race but still have a further £82,000 of corporate sponsorship to raise: “The sponsorship we have achieved to date is incredible,” said Brian, “however we still have a long way to go and urge potential corporate sponsors to contact us so we can discuss the options available and what we can offer them in return."