"Skiing Full Distance from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole"
1000km trek through remote, freezing terrain
Paula is the 3rd British and 14th International Woman to Ski Full Distance from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole (Fuchs-Messner route). This is a challenging 1000km trek through remote, freezing terrain from the Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf on the edge of the frozen Antarctic continent at 82⁰20 South to the Geographic South Pole at 90⁰ South.
The trip meant pulling an 80 kg pulk in one of the most inhospitable environments of the world; uphill all the way, climbing 11,000 feet (3350 m) with temperatures below –40°C plus severe wind chill and storms.
Paula was active 12 hours a day for 46 days, while also suffering from a severe case of ‘Polar Thigh’ which got steadily worse from Day Seven. She had to have the physical ability to cover a minimum daily distance and the mental stamina to continue in extreme conditions when she was exhausted and in great pain. She believes the Polar Thigh made this extreme trip twice as hard and thinks she could not have continued for one more day.
Paula learned a lot about herself and performing in such an extreme environment. She learned that we human beings can be so much more capable than we think and so much more amazing than we realise, as she dug deep again and again during the trip. Her mantras on her skis: “Choose your Attitude” and “Pain is Temporary, Pride is Forever” helped her to focus on keeping going during the relentlessly challenging expedition.