Father And Son At The Pole – Day 56 Of SPEC


Today, on 15 January 2018, Robert and Barney Swan reached the South Pole.

For Barney the journey took 56 days, 600nm and as much courage as he could muster. At just 23 years old, this was an epic journey for a young man with little polar experience but so much knowledge from his 61 years old father Robert Swan O.B.E. Who is the first person in history to ski to both the North and South Poles. Barney had the support and guidance of two incredible human beings; Kyle O’Donoghue and Martin Barnett. Without them Barney doubts he would have completed the journey.

For Robert Swan the journey started back in 1986 on his first expedition to the South Pole – in the Footsteps of Scott. Now 32 years later this may have in fact been the longest ever Expedition to the Geographic South Pole. A successful journey completed using only renewable energy to demonstrate how, even in the most harsh environment on earth, we can survive on alternative fuels.

We thank all of our kind and generous sponsors and supporters for giving us the opportunity to inspire and engage so many people in this mission.

2041 Foundation

106 years ago today…

Amundsen’s team became the first to ever reach the South Pole on Dec. 14, 1911. Scott and his team neared the pole about a month later. On Jan. 16, 1912, they found a flag in the snow from Amundsen’s expedition. Scott and four other men reached the pole the following day, greatly disappointed to have been beaten. Scott wrote in his diary, “Great God! This is an awful place and terrible enough for us to have laboured to it without the reward of priority.”


  • Graeme Joy
    Posted at 07:09h, 16 January Reply

    Congratulations Rob and Barney. Great achievement. Enjoy the well deserved celebration. Hope there is muktuk to go with the champagne.

  • Susan LeCraw
    Posted at 08:22h, 16 January Reply


  • Hugh Millington
    Posted at 08:26h, 16 January Reply

    So many, many congratulations, Bertie, Barney and team! A truly epic and historic achievement. What a message to us all in our fragile world. Come back and tell us all about it.

  • Margret swam
    Posted at 09:52h, 16 January Reply

    To my dearest son Rob and grandson Barney xxx so super proud of you both xxx can’t wait to see you both xx much love ma / gran gran xxxx <3

  • Daniel Whitman
    Posted at 13:32h, 16 January Reply

    Congratulations!!!! An incredible journey and accomplishment.

  • Traci Bunch
    Posted at 14:00h, 16 January Reply

    Congratulations to all!! Well done!!!!

  • Eddie Peat
    Posted at 15:22h, 16 January Reply

    You made it, and equally important got there on renewable resources. Fantastic. What an achievement!

  • Mark Fox-Andrews
    Posted at 17:37h, 16 January Reply

    Robert and Barney,
    Many congratulations from us all.
    Mark and Freddie.

  • Nancy Powell
    Posted at 18:30h, 16 January Reply

    Congratulations!!! Thanks for getting Chris there safely. You’ve impacted so many young lives as evidenced by the response of our daughters’ classmates. Can’t wait to meet you all.
    Nancy, Maddie, Fiona and Claire

  • Kim Schouten-Williams
    Posted at 22:29h, 16 January Reply

    Congratulations to TEAM SPEC! Washington Elementary in Sacramento , California have been following your journey. We truly appreciate what you are doing to protect Antarctica and combat the effects of climate change. You really inspire us!
    Ms Williams and Class

  • Kim Schouten-Williams
    Posted at 22:31h, 16 January Reply

    Congratulations! What an exciting adventure and expedition!

  • Sunny Eselekhomhen
    Posted at 22:33h, 16 January Reply


  • Martin Foakes
    Posted at 23:50h, 16 January Reply

    Fantastic! Well done to all of you, we have thoroughly enjoyed following your trip and once again – the entire school community is inspired to take action for the environment — inspired by your willingness to take on these challenges

    Posted at 16:32h, 17 January Reply

    Many congratulations to the whole SPEC team for a fantastic achievement. Rob you did well for as long as you could and it means a lot to us that you entrusted your son Barney into our son Martins care and with the support of Kyle. I read your book nine hundred miles to the South Pole as you began this adventure and have so enjoyed every write up and commentary comparing both expeditions Well done on both missions.

    Many Congratulations and to Martin – the whole family are very proud of you son as mountains are your usual challenge. Much love mum & dad x x . .

  • Ms. Williams 6th grader
    Posted at 16:57h, 17 January Reply

    From one of Ms. Williams’s 6th graders – Our class has been reading every blog since you guys first stared and this has been an great expedition! The cliff hangers were really great places to stop and wait till the next day. But anyways keep doing what you guys are doing to inspire the world.

  • Steffen Landauer
    Posted at 17:09h, 17 January Reply

    Rob and Barney and Team—Well done! What an accomplishment and an inspiration, and hard to believe it was all done with renewables! Layers layers layers!

  • Alex Alcutt
    Posted at 19:44h, 17 January Reply

    Hi SPEC Team! My name is Alex and I attend Washington Elementary. Our class was following your blog and it’s awesome that you made it to the South Pole before your goal.

  • Jada Henry
    Posted at 19:46h, 17 January Reply

    My class and I have been following your adventure since Day One. I think you and the crew have done a great job and that you are an amazing person, all of you.

  • Pedro Ramirez
    Posted at 19:53h, 17 January Reply

    Hi Team of SPEC! My name is Pedro and I go to Washington Elementary. Our class has been reading about your blog ever since day one! It is awesome that you made to the South Pole before your goal

  • John Tolson
    Posted at 10:01h, 18 January Reply

    Great achievement Rob, Barney and the supporting team. Look forward to hearing of the comparisons from 32 years ago at Jack Hayward base.
    Many congratulations,
    John Tolson

  • Laura Beyers
    Posted at 15:46h, 22 January Reply

    Dear Rob, Barney and Team, Well done! So inspiring. Now for a blissful recoup in sunshine 🙂 Lots of love LBx

  • Cathy Hao
    Posted at 05:03h, 23 January Reply

    Wonderful miracles for the greatest Father & Son! You deserve the honors! We miss IAE 2015 three years ago! Thanks Rob!

  • Avery Bowerman
    Posted at 01:56h, 01 March Reply

    Congrats SPEC Team! Our class has been following you guys since day 1! We really appreciate the lengths you’re willing to go to to send a message. My name is Avery and I attend Washington Elementary School in California. I love your father/son team. You guys are both amazing and very powerful. Thank you for doing this. It’s really good to know that here are people out there that care. For the past 56 days, you’ve done nothing but inspire us. You guys are awesome!

    (By the way, I did this exact comment a while ago but it didn’t save. It shouldn’t have been as late as it was.)

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