Mike Metcalf, of Swireford Road in Helsby, will face sub-zero temperatures and battle blistering blizzards as he attempts to race 4,000 miles in just 14 days.
But before he sets off, the father-of-two will visit the grave of Frodsham man Kevin Cochrane, to say goodbye to his best friend who inspired him to go on the greatest adventure of his life.
Over the past 12 months, Mike, 51, and a team of explorers have raised more than £31,500 for Help for Heroes, something he says he would never have dreamed of doing if it wasn’t for his brave friend.
“He was my best friend, I have to go and see him before I go,” said the security engineer, who described how Kevin died in 2009 after a three-year battle with prostate cancer.
“Before I met him I had never driven a 4x4. We had planned to drive 190-miles across the Alps together, but the cancer came back and he wasn’t strong enough to do it.
“He pulled out so I would still be able to go. He was never once upset, the adventure was on the top of things he wanted to do before he died.
“He said ‘I’m going to wait here for you to come back’, and he did. He died one week after we returned.”
Although Kevin, who lived in Warren Court, Frodsham, never completed the trip, he raised £12,000 for Cancer Research UK and Halton Haven Hospice by planning the adventure, and Mike shared the memories with him when he got back.
“It was never about him getting cancer, it was about two great friends doing something amazing together,” said Mike, father of Helsby High students George, 16, and Jess, 14.
“We always said we had started something in motion we would never have done otherwise. I am the lucky one and this will be the biggest challenge I have ever done.”
Mike, who has helped raise £31,515 for Help for Heroes, faces nights camping in temperatures as low as -30ºC as he takes part in the Arctic Heroes Challenge, racing 4,000 miles from Liverpool to Cape Town.
And to remind him of his supportive wife Stevie and his loving family, Mike will be taking heirlooms including a war medal and his mum’s scarf on the gruelling trip.
“I couldn’t have a stronger family behind me, they have been fantastic,” said Mike, who thanked everyone who attended a send-off ball which raised £10,000 towards the fundraising target.
“The support we have had has been just incredible. We couldn’t have asked for more and we couldn’t have done more preparation. I am getting quite excited now, I just want to enjoy it and I hope we don’t have to pull out.”
The Arctic Heroes will be writing a blog of their adventure. Visit www.arcticheroeschallenge.co.uk.