Expedition South is a fundraising journey run by the Antarctic Heritage Trust, a New Zealand based charity that has conserved the huts and artefacts of Scott and Shackleton's Antarctic expeditions.
Al Fastier - Expedition leader
Expedition South leader Al Fastier is a seasoned Antarctican and has spent his career working in extreme outdoor environments, including 18 visits to the ice. Al manages the on-site work for the Antarctic Heritage Trust, and he has overseen the successful conservation work done on Scott’s and Shackleton’s huts on Ross Island.
After the completion of Expedition South, Al will continue his southward journey, heading to Scott Base to manage the conservation of Hillary’s TAE hut this summer, before crossing to the other side of the continent to help the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust with their project on Horseshoe Island.
Lydia McLean - expedition coordinator
Lydia will keep the tractors on track by planning the route and logistics for the journey, and will make sure Expedition South followers are up to date with the latest news from the road through blogs and social media. With a background in Antarctic science communication, Lydia is no stranger to sharing stories of cold, remote places. She’ll be accompanied by Katikati school ambassador Emperor, and will help him to write a journal from the road for NZ school students.
Like her elders Al Fastier and Ed Hillary, Lydia is an accomplished adventurer. Following on from Expedition South, she will be undertaking an ambitious four-month traverse from the top of the South Island to the bottom, following the spine of the Southern Alps.
Brian Blyth - driver and mechanic
Brian will be driving one of the vintage Fergies throughout the expedition, and will be the team’s mechanic on the road. Similarly to the mechanics on Sir Ed's expedition, Brian’s practical skills will be essential to keep the tractors travelling south.
A radio technician by trade, Brian works for a national network. In his spare time, he can often be found in his shed, tinkering, building and inventing novel solutions for all sorts of problems. He embodies the spirit of kiwi ingenuity, making a lot of 'number 8 wire' repairs. Before the Expedition South kicked off, Brian helped make the tractors mechanically sound, and he built the custom boxes and trays that carry the expedition gear and spare fuel. When not in his shed, Brian enjoys spending time with family or out in the garden.
Massey Ferguson drivers
The modern Antarctica Two (Ant2) tractor will be driven by various representatives from Massey Ferguson NZ. Ant2 will pass through the hands of tractor dealers, mechanics, parts specialists and Massey Ferguson executives. From the lofty heights of the Ant2 cab, these drivers will ensure the safety of the drivers of the little TEA-20s whilst luxuriating in a climate-controlled cab on seats with full suspension whilst listening to music on the Bluetooth sound system.
The 'Old Firm'
The drivers of the original tractors that made the journey to the South Pole included Sir Ed Hillary, Peter Mulgrew, Jim Bates, Derek Wright and Murray Ellis.