Old v New: Wandsworth twins prepare for arctic trek experiment where one of them will use 19th century equipment


The 25-year-old brothers are raising money for Spinal Research.


By Li Hoang

Meet the Turner Twins from Wandsworth, who are set to battle sub-zero temperatures by trekking across Greenland this May.

Ross and Hugo, 25, will trek 550 km across the Greenland Polar ice cap in hope of raising £305,000 for Spinal Research, a charity that helped Hugo when he was 17 after an accident in Cornwall left him almost paralysed.

The brothers are currently undergoing training to survive the extreme conditions by lugging 100kg tyres around Clapham Common. Other survival techniques include eating pure blocks of lard and beef jerky.

The trek will begin in Kangerlassauq, the West Coast of Greenland, taking approximately 30 days to complete before reaching their final destination in Tasiilaq.

Explorer Ernest Shackleton, who famously trekked across the Antarctic 100 years ago, was the inspiration behind the twin’s idea for the Greenland Expedition.  

As a tribute, they aim to undergo an experiment with one twin using modern equipment and the other using 19th century polar gear as Shackleton did in 1914.  

The twins have not yet decided who will play Shackleton during the expedition. Their fate will lie in the flip of a coin.

Crowdfunding site KriticalMass enabled the twins to get the resources and funding they need to raise money for their expedition. Not only has the media-platform helped to get the financial backing of Sir John Hegarty and Moshi Monsters’ early investor Tim Teichman, but also a sponsorship from a major outdoor clothing manufacture that will equip the twins on their trek.

KriticalMass lives up to their philosophy to ‘power good’ by supporting and inspiring others to transform their ideas into a reality through networking and exposure.

CEO and Founder of KriticalMass, Bartolomeo Guarienti, said: “We would have never been able to launch without the mentorship from people like Sir John or the support from countless other people and organisations who believed in us and offered their skills, input or network to make it happen.

“Thanks to them we have built a platform where social advocacy, individual funding and the resources and reach of companies come together to make great ideas happen. No other crowd sourcing or funding site can offer this.”

Both twins will now embark on a new series of challenges by teaming up with King’s College University in London.

The university’s Department of Twin Research will monitor their performance using their old versus new experiment adding an interesting dimension to their trek.

In 2011/12 the twins spent nearly 42 days at sea, competing in the Trans-Atlantic Woodvale Rowing Race. Along with friends Greg Symondson and Adam Wolley, the group broke two World Records – the youngest four-man crew and the first twins to row across any ocean.

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