Soldiers hope to be part of first all-women team to cross South Pole

The team follow in the footsteps of Felicity Aston MBE, an explorer who was the first woman to complete a solo crossing of Antarctica. Credit: British Army

The first ever team made up exclusively of women to cross the South Pole unaided has just returned from extreme survival training a mere 300 miles from the Arctic circle in Norway.>Exercise Ice Maiden is planned for 2017, and the training is as authentic as it gets.

During training in Norway the British Army soldiers jumped into ice cold water from a hole in a frozen lake, built and slept in a snow hole and went skiing across glaciers.

One solider paddling in the ice cold water after jumping in. Credit: British Army
Soldier sleeps in an igloo in Norway in preparation for the mission. Credit: British Army

The training exercise was also a chance for the two exercise leaders to whittle down the team from twenty to twelve as part of on-going selection to secure the very best team members. >The attempt, which will be made October 2017, is being called Exercise Ice Maiden.



trek in the South Pole





The team will walk 1700km in temperatures as low as - 80°C facing wind speeds of over 60mph. Credit: British Army

The Exercise will see the British Army team of women attempt to cross the Antarctic landmass under their own power.>With only two re-supply points along the route the team will carry all the supplies and equipment needed to survive for up to 600km at a time.>Sgt Sara Canning from Yeovil says staying warm is a priority.

We're going to have to be aware that it's gonna be 90 days of our lives and there's nowhere to go, so you've got to keep yourself warm. How I've coped? I think I've done ok. I've done everything I've been told to do, and I think if you stick to what you're told to do you can't really go wrong.

Sgt Sara Canning