Woman first to ski alone across Antarctica
Felicity Aston, 33, spent 59 days skiing across Antarctica.
January 23rd, 2012
11:36 AM ET

Woman first to ski alone across Antarctica

If you'd become the first woman to ski across Antarctica alone, what's the first thing you'd want on completion of your 59-day, 1,055-mile journey?

A glass of red wine and a hot shower sounded fine to British explorer Felicity Aston, who accomplished the feat Sunday.

Aston, 33, was waiting Monday morning at  Hercules Inlet, Antarctica, after one last night in the tent that that had protected her from the continent's harsh elements since she began her trek on November 25.

Bad weather had prevented her pickup by a Hercules C-130 plane on Sunday, but Monday was "a lovely day," she tweeted. She said she was making weather reports every hour to clear the way for the plane to come.

Aston's trek took her from the Ross Ice Shelf across the Transantarctic Mountains to the South Pole to her destination on the Ronne Ice Shelf on the opposite coast of the continent. She had only one day of rest during her journey, at the pole itself.

“I cannot express how happy I am to have finally made it!," she said of when she completed the journey, according to her sponsor, Kaspersky Lab.

View the path Aston took as well as her podcast dispatches along the route

"The Kaspersky ONE Transantarctic Expedition represents a culmination of everything I experienced and learned before on other challenging journeys. I prepared for it physically and mentally for a very long time. And finally here I am having reached my final destination, having got through some rather severe conditions, but most importantly of all having overcome my own fear," Aston said in the release.

Kaspersky Lab is Europe's largest producer of antivirus software.

Aston's tweets from her journey show she endured conditions from whiteouts to baking-hot sunshine.

Among the hardships she endured during her trips: losing a toenail, temperatures approaching -40 degrees Celsius, ripped clothing (She tweeted she had some sewing to do. How does one work a needle and thread at 40 below?), laundry problems ("Tried to do some laundry in the tent this evening. Didn't go well. I now have frozen knickers," she tweeted on December 6), loneliness ("Yesterday was the first day I didnt burst into tears at any point," she tweeted 16 days in), and a personal transformation of sorts.

That weight loss came even though she was consuming about 5,000 calories a day.

Her supplies were replenished by air twice during the trip.

But with the hardships, her awe and appreciation of Antarctica always came through.

And later in the trip:

And on January 9:

Aston used her trip to raise money for the British Antarctic Monument Trust. The trust wants to build a monument in the Falkland Islands "to commemorate those killed in Antarctica while in pursuit of science," according to her page on JustGiving.com. She'd reached 57% of her goal of 1,700 British pounds ($2,650) on Monday.

Aston's Antarctic journey was the latest in 10 years of adventures.

According to her website, she has "raced in the Canadian Arctic, led a team of women across the inland ice of Greenland, led a record-making international team to the South Pole, searched for meteorite craters in Quebec, skied along a frozen river in Siberia, traversed the winter ice of Lake Baikal, completed the infamous Marathon Des Sables across the Moroccan Sahara and spent three years living and working in the Antarctic."

No word Monday on what's next.

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Filed under: Antarctica • United Kingdom • World
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Neat and impressive, but a bit misleading to say "across Antarctica". It's like saying someone walked across North America after walking across Panama...

    January 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jt_flyer

    In a few years we'll be swimming across Antarctica.

    January 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff Frank ( R - OHIO ) "Яight Wing Иutcase"

    Congratulations Felicity Aston....remarkable feat.

    January 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. alan s

    Very impressive, and I tip my cap to Ms. Aston. I am delighted there are still people who want to do things like this. Reminiscent of the 60 year-old lady who recently tried swimming from Florida to Cuba, or where ever. (But unfortunately failed.) The article, however, described her as "British explorer Felicity Aston". How is she an explorer? Surely other people have already seen every acre of Antarctica. It would have been better to describe her as "British adventurer Felicity Aston". But still, I admire her accomplishment.

    January 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • barbara o

      How about you read just a tiny bit past her latest achievement, instead of just the headline? Sheeeesh.

      January 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. barbara o

    Unbelievably inspirational! Those of you nitpicking, put a plug in it. You probably don't even have the energy to *read* about adventures in Antarctica. lol Showing my 14th year old this woman's resume – great role model!

    January 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Professor Trollworth

    I was going to ski across Antarctica, but then I remembered there was a reality show marathon on, so I didn't.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Professor Trollworth

    I didn't know that lady smoked crack! Oh well, if someone on the internet said it, it must be true.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BOMBO ©

    Prof Trollsworth, it only becomes true if at least two random people on the internet say it, then a third person writes a wikipedia article and cites them both as references.

    January 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Professor Trollworth

      Oh yeah, that is true.

      January 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Laurence Ringo

    Wow!!I take my hat off to the young lady for a job well done!As is only too obvious by some of the posts submitted on this blog,the intrepid spirit that characterizes poeple who dare to do great things is fast fading from the imaginations of many nowadays,and why not?I suppose its just easier to sit on our collective fat butts and disparage the accomplishments of others.Its sad that some of these bloggers live such small,mean,vicious,truncated little half-lives. Kudos to you,Ms.Alston!!

    January 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BOMBO ©

    I would say that she might read this blog and be offended by some of the comments. But that's not true. She'll never see the comments because she's not sitting in her Mom's basement with no pants eating Cheetos all day, like the commenter above posting the same crap over and over using different screen names.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Michael Rowell

    Very nice accomplishment. It's good to see people out there pushing themselves to the limit for a cause and testing their abilities against the landscape. In this case it was one heck of an unforgiving landscape. Bravo! Congratulations on an impressive feat.

    January 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. TORI©

    Congratulations to a remarkable woman doing an extraordinary feat.

    January 23, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. gung hoe

    Congrats felicity thats shows just how strong a woman can be.Next time could you please take the trolls and kids with you and drop them off for walrus bait.

    January 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rooney©

    Good for her! Congratulations Felicity Aston.
    LOL @ BOMBO© 2:22

    January 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Yomera

    How do we know she did not cheat and took a short cut?

    January 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
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