In November 2022, Stefano Capella (Cobham 11) will be travelling to Antarctica as part of a Medical Research Expedition to explore the metabolic cost of sustained polar travel.

The team will be using proven state of the art techniques and wearable technologies to increase their understanding of the effect of an arduous environment on the human body, whilst also undertaking research into nutrition. The Military and Civilian team will be undertaking research on the ice as they complete a 1,100km ski to the South Pole. They will be pulling sleds weighing up to 100kg, battling temperatures of -50 degrees, ascending to altitudes as high as 3,500m and burning up to 7,000kcal a day.

The journey from the Ross Ice Shelf on the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole was first completed on 14 December 1911 by Roald Amundsen’s team and shortly after this, on 17 January 1912, by Captain Scott’s team. Scott’s team sadly died on the return journey from hypothermia and malnutrition.

Over a century later, the expedition to the South Pole remains an enormous challenge physically, mentally and nutritionally. Whilst it has successfully been completed many times both in teams and solo, the number of medical research expeditions can be counted on one hand. Mike Stroud and Ran Fiennes (both patrons of INSPIRE22) crossed the Antarctic in 1992/3 in the first unsupported crossing and Mike Stroud undertook his seminal work on the metabolic tariff of polar travel and the associated malnutrition; INSPIRE22 hopes to build upon their research.

Stefano writes, “I have always had fond memories of Stowe: the amazing people, outstanding beauty and the great opportunities that it has given me. I feel my drive and passion was cultivated here and remarkable alumni such as Andrew Croft (Chandos 25) and Henry Worsley (Grafton 78) provide an inspiration for myself and generations to come. If you would like to get in contact, ask questions or support the expedition please contact me on and follow us on various social media platforms @antarctic_inspire_22”.

Persto et Praesto

Surg Lt Stefano Capella (Cobham 11), Trauma & Orthopaedic surgical trainee