Thursday, December 31, 2009

Antarctica: Journey of Seven Women

From FOX News:
Seven women on a 562-mile Antarctic ski trek reached the South Pole Thursday, 38 days after they began their adventure to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Commonwealth.

Skiing six to 10 hours a day, the Commonwealth Women's Antarctic Expedition trekked an average of 15 miles a day, each hauling a 176-pound sled of provisions and shelter to reach the United States-operated Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station science base.

The expedition comprised women from Brunei, Cyprus, Ghana, India, New Zealand, Singapore and Britain.

Frostbite blackened the fingers of one of the original team of eight, Kim-Marie Spence, from Kingston, Jamaica, just three days into the journey which began Nov. 23, forcing her to leave the expedition.

The group faced blinding blizzards, winds in excess of 80 miles an hour, hidden crevasses and temperatures that plummeted to minus 42 degrees Fahrenheit, its Web site said.

The expedition had an inauspicious start when new tents were damaged by a roaring gale at Patriot Hills base camp in an area of Antarctica overseen by Argentina. The women had to borrow tents while they sewed patches on their own.

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