A FORMER Ringwood man is setting off on a “trip of a lifetime” to walk across the world’s largest frozen lake.

Ash Routen, who grew up in the town but now lives in Leicester, is part of two-man team with fellow amateur adventurer Phil Sturgeon.

The expedition, which is in partnership with Sub Zero and SIGG, heads out to Siberia in Russia on February 28 for the 550km walk across Lake Baikal, which is expected to take 20 to 22 days.

Ash Routen said: “This will be the most significant and exciting adventure I’ve taken on to date. Whilst relatively fit, Phil and I will have to use all our resilience and determination to complete it.

“It’s not located in the polar regions, however Lake Baikal is known for it’s high wind speed and low temperatures, so we’re extremely grateful for the support of Sub Zero and SIGG to help equip us for these conditions. We can’t wait to get out there, it’s the trip of a lifetime.”

Ash said: “I grew up on the edge of the New Forest, and from starting in the Cubs and Scouts twenty odd years ago I’ve always been active doing general outdoorsy things such as hillwalking, rock climbing, camping, cycle touring.

“In the last two years I’ve transferred this outdoors grounding into working towards my long held ambition of going on trips to the cold and wild places of our planet.

“I’d had enough of dreaming. I thought it was time that I get busy doing.”

The 31-year-old is no stranger to taking on outdoor challenges. In 2016 he went on a polar expedition training in the Arctic circle in the north of Norway and in April 2017 went on a eight day solo expedition in Norway across the Hardangervidda plateau, which was used for training by polar explorers such as Shackleton and Amundsen.

At 550 km long - equivalent to 13 back-to-back marathons - the team’s challenge will see them walking for 8 to 10 hours per day with temperatures down to -40 and below with wind chill. They will also have to pull two sledges each, containing up to 100kg of supplies to complete the journey unsupported. Follow their progress at followmychallenge.com.