Six heroic army women went on an amazing adventure to Antarctica! After ten years of planning and two years of training they finally achieved their goal. It took them 60 days 15 hours and 45 minutes. Along the way they broke four world records: the largest team to cross Antarctica; the first all women team; the youngest person to cross Antarctica (28 years old); the first only ‘muscle power’ crossing of Antarctica.
It took determination, commitment and team work to achieve their goal. They all faced their fears; some feared falling into deep crevasses, other worried about the cold. Some of the worst things they endured were going to the bathroom, getting ill and surviving sixty one days without a shower. They were unable to shower, wash their hair or even brush it properly. The ‘bathroom’ was the worst. In protected areas they had to pick up their poop and carry it for 3 to 4 days until they reached the drop off point.
They travelled 1700km on uneven ground carrying 70kg sledges piled high with supplies. To keep themselves entertained during the long trek they used their ipods, which ran on solar power. They had to eat high calorie, easy to eat food, such as marzipan, nuts and hot chocolate. They wore lots of layers to avoid frostbite. They showed us most of their gear but they couldn’t show us their blue jackets because, when they got on to the plane the air hostess said that they smelt really bad and they couldn’t bring them on board! They didn’t take a shower for 60 days 15 hours and 46 minutes and they wore the same clothes for all of that time!
They told us that their most frightening moment was when they were training in Norway. The women were asleep in their tents on a frozen lake. It was the middle of the night when they heard a deafening crack. Panic broke out among them and they thought they were going to fall into the lake. They moved to a safer part just to be sure, but in truth the ice was too thick to break and they were actually safe. At the end of the journey they sledged down the final hill to the finish and broke four world records doing so.
We all feel very fortunate that the Ice Maidens were able to visit us. Their talk really made us think about what we could achieve with training and determination. We were most inspired by their ability to persevere and work as a team. The Ice Maidens had big dreams. It took ten years dreaming and two years training to achieve their goal, but their dreams came true and we hope that ours will too someday. Now what is your ‘Antarctica?