On Tuesday 8th January, Ice Maidens Sandy Hennis and Sophie Montagne enthralled Bromsgrove Prep School pupils with their experiences as part of the first female team to ski across the Antarctic continent coast to coast, using muscle power alone.
The intrepid explorers skied a total of 1,704 km, battling temperatures as low as - 56C and storms, with wind speeds in excess of 100 kph. Expecting their unsupported journey to take seventy-five days, they crossed the finish line on 20th January 2018, an astonishing fourteen days ahead of schedule. Their sixty-one day journey broke three world records, was featured on every news channel in the UK and has attracted publicity in Australia, South Africa, Norway and France. All team members are serving in the British Army; Sophie and Sandy are the two Army Reservists, allowing them to combine military training with their civilian careers.
Sandy and Sophie were able to emphasise to pupils the resilience that was needed and the teamwork required to achieve this remarkable feat. They shared the high and low points of the trip and achieved their mission to inspire the next generation of adventurers. They show that ordinary women can achieve something extraordinary with a little dose of self-belief, a bit of training and a lot of determination.
Pupils were asked “what is your Antarctica?” Based on their answers, the School is hopeful that it has inspired the next generation of explorers. The team were very generous with their time and allowed pupils to ask a wide range of questions and try on the gear that they had used for the expedition.
More information on the speakers and the expedition can be found on their website https://www.polarperform.co.uk/.