A YEADON adventurer is preparing to embark on an attempt to set a speed record for a crossing of Greenland.

Ben Thackwray has already completed a series of extreme challenges including the gruelling Marathon des Sables, and an attempt to break the record for rowing across the Atlantic.

Now he and a fellow adventurer are preparing to set out on a particularly ambitious expedition to complete a full coast-to-coast crossing of Greenland pulling all their equipment on foot and ski.

Ben, 28, who is undertaking the attempt with Ian Couch, 39, of Norwich, will start with a gruelling climb on to the ice cap and will then endure temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees as they aim to travel at least 30 miles a day.

The expedition, named Endure, will be an ambitious speed crossing of the second largest ice cap on the planet – a journey of 600km.

Ben said: “Greenland is the second largest island on Earth. Straddling the Arctic Circle, 80 per cent of the country is permanently encased in ice creating the second largest ice cap in the world.

“The Endure expedition aims to cover 600km from east to west coast on foot and totally unsupported using a combination of forward thinking, revolutionary ideas and good old fashioned grit and determination.

“Even more challenging than this the Endure expedition aims to do the crossing of the ice cap in the style of an ultra-distance marathon and complete the crossing as fast as possible.”

He added: “Simply attempting to cross Greenland is a massive undertaking and is one of the big three classic polar journeys. It requires braving sub zero temperatures, crevasses, polar bears and some of the harshest conditions on the planet.”

The pair are training hard for the event and have been fortunate to gain the support and sponsorship of companies supporting real adventure in the harshest conditions – Berghaus, Nite Watchers, IceBug and 4Below.

Ben and Ian first met while taking part in a five-man Trans-atlantic row in December 2007.

Ben said: “This was an enormous undertaking a mental and physical challenge. To put it in perspective more people reached the summit of Mount Everest last year than have ever rowed an ocean.”

Although they narrowly missed out on the open class world record, the crew became the first and probably only five man crew.

Now they are concentrating on preparing for the their next challenge in April.

Ben said: “Greenland is the second-largest ice cap in the world and we are aiming to cross unassisted and unsupported from coast to coast, a total distance of 370 miles, in 12 days or less.

“We will have to haul all our necessary food and safety equipment and endure temperatures as low as minus 40C, with little to no sleep, man haul more than 30 miles per day, avoid the danger of hidden crevasses and anticipate the real and sobering threat of polar bears.”