One-woman snow-show

One-woman snow-show

Felicity Ashton is about to attempt to be the first woman to cross the Antarctic alone – weather permitting.

The 33-year-old British explorer is about to embark on a gruelling 1,700km, 65-day ski journey, though she is currently stranded at base camp at Union Glacier, waiting for the adverse weather conditions to improve before she can set off.

Using only muscle power to fuel her voyage, Ashton will begin her mission by flying to the Ross Ice Shelf at the foot of the Leverett Glacier. She will ski up the glacier, go through the Transantarctic Mountains and climb onto the Polar Plateau. When she reaches the South Pole, she’ll collect a new supply of food and fuel before continuing across the plateau, finishing her journey at Hercules Inlet.

If she is successful, the Kent-born adventurer will also take the title as the first ever British woman to cross the entirety of the Antarctic.

It’s a mental challenge as well as a physical one. Ashton has had to prepare herself, with the help of a doctor, for the months of mental strain, endless seclusion, and the featureless horizon. ‘I’m looking forward to finding out what it will be like to go that length of time without seeing anyone,’ she says. ‘There’s a definite appeal to just getting going, and seeing how simple life becomes when all you have to worry about is eating, sleeping and skiing.’

One upside to the arduous conditions: she’ll be able to indulge in a sizeable amount of chocolate-eating. ‘I get to eat chocolate all day and I still manage to lose weight,’ she says. ‘So that’s a bonus.’

To find out more about Felicity Ashton visit her website or follow her on twitter ( The Kaspersky ONE Trans-Antarctic Expedition details her progress and more about this particular Antarctic journey. (

Pictured: Felicity Ashton

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