• Watch Emma Wilkinson's report, featuring Maj Nics Wetherill (Ice Maiden team member), Col Anna Kimber (sponsorship team) Lt Jenni Stephenson (Ice Maiden team member) and Lucy and Tim Stephenson (Jenni's parents).

Six women are hoping to make history by becoming the first all-female team to ski coast-to-coast across Antarctica.

The Ice Maiden team, who are all serving in the British Army or Army Reserve, set off to their preparation base in Chile last night.

Following in the footsteps of Felicity Aston’s record-breaking solo Antarctic crossing in 2012, the team will cover 1,700km using muscle-power alone.

They will pull sledges weighing up to 80kg and battle temperatures of -50°Cand 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.

Having being whittled down from 250 applicants, the six women undertook two years of rigorous training, which included crevasse rescue training and ice breaking drills in Norway.

It will hopefully take the women around 70 days to ski from coast-to-coast Credit: PA

As well as providing winter survival skills and qualifications to women who took part in the training process, one of the main aims of the expedition is to inspire and encourage women and girls of all ages to take up a challenge, get active and get outdoors.

It is also hoped the expedition will further scientific knowledge on how the female body copes with extreme endurance in polar environments.

If everything goes according to plan, the expedition will take between 70 and 75 days.