Felicity Aston is attempting what no person before her has ever done. The 33 year-old from Great Britain began her trek on skis across the continent of Antarctica Friday with nothing but penguins to keep her company. Her only supplies will be those secured to a sled she will pull for the duration of the trip.
The route Aston plans on taking will cover over 1,000 miles of terrain, including glaciers, frozen plains, and the Transatlantic Mountain range and is expected to take just over 2 months to complete. This journey would be daunting with a fully experienced expeditionary team, but going it alone poses a much greater risk. The blistering cold and intense sun and winds make overexposure a serious threat to the success of Aston’s trek. No stranger to frozen danger, the British native has already skied across the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Canadian Arctic.
If she is successful, Felicity will break multiple records, including longest solo polar expedition made by a woman, as well as being the first person to self-sufficiently cross Antarctica (a previous trek was made by Norwegian Boerge Ousland using a small sail to harness wind power). Despite her extensive experience in the field, as well as a previous stint as a meteorologist with the British Antarctic Survey Team, this will be Aston’s first solo expedition.