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Sir Ranulph Fiennes, an enthusiastic explorer

The Independent reports on the latest plans of Sir Ranulph Twistleton-Wykeham Fiennes, one of the world's greatest living explorers. Over the past 25 years the 62-year-old Fiennes has led expeditions up the White Nile in a hovercraft, parachuted onto Europe's highest glacier, and made his way down 4,000 miles of terrifying rivers in northern Canada and Alaska. He journeyed overland to both poles and across the world's axis - the Transglobe Expedition - which took ten years from conception to completion, and discovered Ubar, the Lost City in the Sands. On the way Sir Ranulph raised more than £6m for charity.

This March he will be climbing the North Face of the Eiger.

“. . .this is my challenge of a lifetime. The North Face is 6,000 feet (1,828m) of vertical rock and ice. It's claimed the lives of 50 climbers since the first ascent in 1938 and is notorious for rockfalls, avalanches and unstable weather. But I'm determined to get to the top - vertigo and all.

"I'm taking on the Eiger Challenge not just 'because it's there' but to raise £1.5m to support the pioneering work of Marie Curie Cancer Care's Delivering Choice Programme. . . an initiative that aims to double the number of terminally ill people who can be cared for and die in their own homes.”

Fiennes recently lost his wife and expedition partner, Ginny, to cancer. His assault on the Eiger may be viewed as a tribute to her.

Energetic despite a heart attack, he continues to make two-and-a-half runs from his home in Exmoor to prepare for his expeditions. He seems to have great fun. The author of more than 20 books, his writing style has been described as “laconic and hilarious”.


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