Five British women are aiming to become the first
all-female team to ski coast-to-coast across
Antarctica in November 2017.
No team of women, from any nation, has completed this formidable challenge. It is the ultimate opportunity to show that women
have the mental strength and physical endurance to operate in the most hostile environment on earth.
The Ice Maiden team will cover 1,700km using muscle-power alone, pulling sledges and battling temperatures of -50°C
and wind speeds of over 60mph during their three-month journey.
Unsupported, and with only two resupply points along the route, they will carry all the supplies and equipment needed
to survive for up to 600km at a time.
The Ice Maiden team are all serving in the British Army or Army Reserve and are following in the footsteps of Felicity Aston’s record-breaking solo Antarctic crossing in 2012.
To inspire a new era of female expeditionary spirit,
encouraging women and girls of all ages to take up a
challenge, get active and get outdoors.
To provide winter survival skills and qualifications to a
number of women throughout the training process,
inspiring them to lead their own expeditions in future.
To promote an active lifestyle, female teamwork and
leadership to companies, schools and youth groups
throughout the UK.
To collect medical data that shows how the female
body copes with extreme endurance in polar
Leverett Glacier to South Pole
Starting on the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf, the team will climb up the Transantarctic Mountains, via the Leverett Glacier, to reach the polar plateau. This is the most arduous phase of their journey as they climb from sea level to 2,835m (9,301ft) and ski over 500km to the South Pole.
They estimate that this leg will take no more than 30 days.
South Pole to Thiel Mountains
After a re-supply at the South Pole, this next leg will see the team turn north-west towards Hercules Inlet. Skiing 600km across uneven ground created by sastrugi, they will aim for their final re-supply point at the base of the Thiel Mountains.
This leg should take approximately 25 days.
Thiel Mountains to Hercules Inlet
The final leg of the 1700km journey will gradually descend to Hercules Inlet, situated on the Ronne Ice Shelf. This leg offers the highest crevasse risk so the team will need to maintain their concentration until journey’s end.
The aim is to complete the expedition within 75 days.