In November 2019 I am setting off on my biggest expedition to date! I will be skiing from the coast of Antarctica all the way to the South Pole; solo and unsupported. When I reach the South Pole, I will become the youngest woman in history to achieve this.
In 2017, aged 26, I became the world’s youngest woman and the first English woman to have successfully climbed both the north and south sides of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak.
To achieve my goal I must ski alone and unsupported across 702 miles of the world’s largest desert and most unforgiving terrain. It is an immense physical and mental challenge.
After leaving the south-west margins of the Ronne Ice Shelf, I must successfully negotiate obstacles like crevasse fields and 6ft high wind formed waves of snow.
My mental reserves and progress will be further tested by the need to haul my 90kg sled into a bone-chilling headwind in temperatures of minus 50C (three times lower than inside a domestic home freezer). My only companions will be the wind, endless snowfields and a selection of audio books and music!
Gaining sponsorship for my expeditions is always the biggest hurdle. I have so far raised £60K from corporate sponsorship and personal donations - a huge achievement. However, I need to raise the final £15K before October in order to take on this expedition and attempt to make history.
To date, only six women have skied solo and unsupported to the South Pole. One of the main aims of this expedition is to inspire women, young and old, to take on challenges, push their comfort zones and achieve their own ambitions.
I will achieve this by continuing to share my story in schools and business around the world and through my work mentoring young women with the ground-breaking youth charity, The Polar Academy.
The Tattoo Story
In 2011 I was in the same boat as I am now, tirelessly attempting to raise the funds to climb Mount Everest.
I decided I was going to hold a fund-raising event at a local bar in my home town. During this event there would be a band, a hog roast, a casino and a fund-raising auction. To make this auction a success I needed a crowd pleasing, money grabbing, must-have auction prize. So, logically, I decided to auction my bum as art space to the highest bidder. Who ever bought my bum in this auction would be able to have anything they wanted tattooed on it, absolutely anything.
The auction came around all too quickly. The bidding started, obviously I was petrified. The price quickly rose above £200, £300, £400... Luckily, and unluckily, for me I had invited a couple of Royal Marines I knew. It turns out that it was pay day and they had had a few drinks... My Dad was there, bidding against them to stop me getting any sort of tattoo at all! It got to £500 and he turned to me and told me he was out, £550, £600 there was a bidding war going on, every auctioneers dream, £700, £800, £1,000... and when the price finally rested, my right bum cheek became the property of Sam and Andrew, two slightly inebriated and now very poor Royal Marines.
I now have two kissing chickens tattooed on my right bum cheek for the rest of my life. I hope you will agree, worth it to get to climb Mount Everest.
I am now 8 years older and 8 years wiser. Therefore, my LEFT bum cheek is going to be auctioned off for no less than £15,000. Any tattoo you want on it, anything at all. This is how much I want to go to Antarctica. *Terms and conditions apply