The Ice Maidens, a British Army all-women team including local Sophie Montagne, from Northiam, have started their epic journey to the South Pole.
Their record-breaking aim is to become the first all-female team to cross the Antarctic from coast-to-coast. Travelling on skis, they will be towing all their supplies on sledges behind them.
All of the women involved in the Ice Maiden challenge are serving in the British Army or Army Reserve. Prior to setting off, they have been training for the trek for two years.
The six Ice Maidens recently left Heathrow taking with them all the equipment they will need to survive each 600 kilometre stretch of their journey. They will only have two resupply stops along their route which runs from the Leverett Glacier to the Hercules Inlet via the South Pole. Weather permitting, it should take 75 days to complete .
They can expect to battle wind speeds of over 60mph and bitterly cold temperatures of around -50c. The weather is so harsh, unprotected skin will develop frostbite in minutes.
Some have described the mission as the ultimate opportunity to show that women have the strength required to operate in one of the world’s most hostile environments. As part of the challenge, the Ministry of Defence aims to collect medical data on woman undergoing endurance in extreme environments. The research is being supported by the Army and the Defence Medical Academic Department.
You can follow Sophie and the team’s progress on www.exicemaiden.com and on Twitter @exicemaiden
1,700km route, which runs from the Leverett Glacier to the Hercules Inlet via the South Pole. Weather permitting, it should take 75 days to complete.
Photo credit: MoD