It's because Scott's journey is still the high water mark of human endeavour and is still unfinished, Saunders says. 

This is Saunders' 11th big expedition, "the most ambitious I've ever undertaken".

The trip will represent 70 marathons back to back. The two will be on foot, wearing skis and dragging sledges with everything they need, unsupported except with regard to technical gizmos.

He says that theirs is a very high-tech expedition. "We have a brand new satellite system, an ultra-light version on the sledges, and we have lightweight laptops to take footage so that we can share this story at a level of detail that has never been achieved before."

The team's been in training for a year, driving down to the Alps occasionally so as to practice crevasse and other specialised skills as well as regular exercises, and consuming 6,000 calories a day to build up the poundage.

They have 110 days to complete the expedition and although they have so many technical devices to help them share the journey, they do not expect to see any other people except perhaps one or two scientists at the Pole where there is a large US base.

(Voice of Russia)