Wendy’s antarctic adventure

Wendy’s antarctic adventure

Prospect member, Wendy Searle, has completed a breath-taking expedition to the South Pole which involved a 400-mile route up a never-before-climbed glacier to reach the heart of the Antarctic continent

Wendy skied the 720 miles from the coastline of Antarctica to the South Pole in 42 days, 16 hours, 23 minutes – making her the fourth fastest solo, unsupported female to complete the epic journey.

She did not take one rest day, broke two teeth and dragged all her supplies in a 120kg sledge.

Wendy, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, completed the journey unsupported and unassisted, which means she had no resupply of any kind and no vehicle assistance or kites.

All the kit was dragged in a pulk, or sledge, including a tent, rations and comprehensive medical kit. By the time she reached the Pole, Wendy had “one meal and a whisper of fuel” left.

She encountered white-outs, blizzards and crevasses in the one of the most isolated places on earth – but not one penguin!

The expedition also brought back environmental data and was part of a research project on mental resilience at the limits of human endurance.

Women are in a minority when it comes to Polar journeys; one of the aims of the expedition was to inspire young women and girls to take more risks and to accept more opportunities.

Wendy said: “I wasn’t a professional athlete, I don’t have lots of money and I have a busy job. I wanted to show that anyone can make things happen with enough fortitude.

“Yes, it was a physical challenge – skiing 11 or 12 hours every single day with no rest days. It was an even greater mental challenge – I wanted to give up so often.

“There was a lot of crying in my tent, especially in the mornings, at the prospect of another day in those conditions. But I got out of the tent regardless and got on with it.”

The expedition is raising funds for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and The Youth Adventure Trust.

For more info or to donate, visit southpole2020.com

Expedition statistics

  • 720 miles skied
  • 42 days, 16 hours, 23 minutes – official expedition time
  • 4th fastest solo unsupported female
  • 7th female ever to complete Hercules Inlet to South Pole, solo and unsupported
  • 0 resupplies
  • 0 rest days taken
  • 0 cold weather injuries
  • 2 teeth broken
  • 12kg in bodyweight lost
  • 258,000 calories consumed
  • 473 hours skied
  • 46 days without a shower