NEWPORT adventurer and former Wales rugby international Richard Parks has beaten his own British record for reaching the South Pole.

He finished his mamoth effort at 9.29am, tweeting: "I've just arrived at the South Pole. 

"We did it! Thank you."

The explorer battled hunger and some of the worst weather conditions Antartica has seen in recent years to finish in 28 days.

At 5:37am this morning he messaged to confirm: “I can see the SP station”.

His official start time was December 17, 2019, at 11.23am British time.

His current record stands was 29 days, 19 hours and 24 minutes. He will also become the first person to have completed the coast to pole journey solo, unassisted, unsupported more than once.

Parks has skied more miles solo, unsupported and unassisted in Antarctica than any other person in history.


Following his 2014 expedition, Parks remains the first Welshman and, it is believed, the first person of colour to complete the coast to pole journey in Antarctica solo, unassisted and unsupported.

Eating partial rations for days before reaching the pole, Parks has been eking out the original 25 days’ worth of food he carried with him in his sled.

On Sunday, Day 26, he decided against a food re-supply and backed himself to get to the pole.

In the last 24 hours, this became a test of will, a test of spirit and a test of how much pain, hunger and fatigue he could endure. His team do not know whether he has any food remaining.

As well as skiing close to 1130km from the coast, Parks has climbed from sea level (0m attitude) to an altitude of more than 2,800 m currently.

Roughly twice the height of Ben Nevis or almost three times the height of Snowdon. The air on the polar plateau is thinner, so Parks had to work even harder in those last kilometres to keep going.

Richard has history with world record attempts. In 2011, he successfully became the first person to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents and stand on the North and South poles in the same calendar year, recognised by Guinness World Records.

In 2014 he set the current British record for skiing coast to pole in Antarctica, solo, unsupported, unassisted.