THE EXPLORER in residence at Warwick University has paid tribute to close friend and fellow explorer Henry Worsley who died this week after failing in his bid become the first man to complete a solo expedition across Antarctica unassisted.
Mark Wood – whose own expeditions include everything from skiing solo to the North and South Poles to climbing Everest to – was devastated by the news of the 55-year-old’s death.
Henry was just 30 miles from completing his epic journey – marking the 100th anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s famous Endurance expedition – when he had to be airlifted to hospital in Chile. Sadly he passed away at the weekend after being diagnosed with bacterial peritonitis.
Coventry-born Mark, who first met Henry when he arrived at the South Pole in 2012, said: “When I first met Henry he was full of smiles, fun and laughter. Little did I know that he’d just completed his own expedition just minutes before I first met him.
“Henry was an extraordinary, strong-willed, powerful, man with a deep sense of humour.
“I can see why Henry wanted to take on the expedition – not only for historical reasons but also personally. That’s why we explore, for personal reasons.
“The problem with great explorers like Henry is he has a real British determination about him to go that little bit further.
“If you’re travelling as a team you have different people to add their judgement – if it was a team approach the expedition would’ve stopped a little earlier I think.
“I think he pushed himself as far as he could.”
Henry’s main focus of his expedition was to help wounded soldiers with their rehabilitation.
Over £100,000 has been raised by Henry for the Endeavour Fund – the charity supported by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, which helps injured servicemen and women.
Despite Henry’s death, 38 year-old Mark next expedition to trek from the Russian Arctic Coast to the North Pole will go ahead next month.