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Beyond the Bale : June 2018
OLD AND NEW EXPEDITION CLOTHING GO HEAD TO HEAD On an overcast evening in June 2007, 17-year-old Hugo Turner dived into the sea off the Cornish coast, hit an unseen sand bank under the water and instantly broke his neck. Three hospitals, a neck reconstruction and many months of recovery later, Hugo was back walking again. In the mix of emotions that followed this near catastrophic accident came an overwhelming drive for Hugo, and his twin brother Ross, to push some boundaries and challenge themselves in the world’s harshest environments. During the following decade they have followed an unconventional path in life, undertaking epic world-first expeditions which combine pioneering medical research and unique studies of historic expeditions. The fact that they are identical twins also Hugo and Ross Turner are British identical twin brothers which provides them with a special ability to test how early 20th century expedition clothing made from natural fibres compares with modern-day expedition clothing. provides them with a unique opportunity to directly compare modern expedition clothing (made principally from synthetic fibres) with those of bygone years (made exclusively from natural fibres, including wool). “Being twins means that we can compare kit and equipment from 100 years ago with no bias as we’re genetically identical,” explained Hugo. “No one has compared kit and equipment in this scientific way before.” In 2014 the twins attempted to trek across the polar ice cap of Greenland, with Ross wearing a replica of clothing that Sir Ernest Shackleton used a century previously on his famous 'Endurance' expedition in Antarctica, while Hugo used modern clothing. “2014 was the 100-year anniversary of Shackleton’s trans-Antarctic attempt so it was very apt that we should undertake a polar expedition,” Hugo said. “Greenland for us was a cheaper option than Antarctica but it was still representative of the conditions found at the very bottom of the world.” The following year, the twins climbed Mt Elbrus in Russia, which at 8,642m is the highest mountain in Europe. Hugo tested the traditional clothing and equipment that George Mallory would have used on his fateful Mt Everest expedition in 1924, while Ross wore today’s modern mountaineering equivalent. “For us to head up Everest in old kit would have been very naïve as we’re not professional mountaineers. So we selected Mt Elbrus as a good mountain to learn more about the old kit and ourselves.” THE OLD EXPEDITION KIT The old style kit for both expeditions was sourced from the same companies that made the clothing, shoes and equipment for Shackleton and Mallory a century ago. Replicas of some pieces had to be made. The clothing used by Mallory was very similar to that used by Shackleton, because the mountaineers of the day adapted the polar clothing slightly to suit their needs. “My kit in Greenland was fantastic,” Ross said. “I wore Merino wool base-layers with buttons, tweed trousers and leather braces, a couple of mid-layer jumpers, some large cable knit jumpers, wool gloves, a cotton outer jacket and trousers, and a hat soaked in sheep’s lanoline from Burberry. I also had a fur hat, wooden skis and sled, bamboo poles, and leather shoes with extra insulated soles. Ross and Hugo in Greenland, their faces covered in ice which demonstrates how quickly moisture vapour can freeze in these conditions. 10 OFF FARM
In the Shops - September 2018