Antarctica: Two British Soloists Were Resupplied

Antarctic Poles
A manhauler crosses the polar plateau. Photo: Carl Alvey/ALE

Last week, a trio of British women — Wendy Searle, Jenny Davis and Mollie Hughes — reached the South Pole within days of each other. Searle and Davis were in a foot race for the women’s speed record from Hercules Inlet, and Hughes sought the convoluted distinction of youngest female to ski solo and unsupported to the Pole. While Hughes achieved a record of sorts, Searle and Davis missed out on the 39-day speed record by a few days. (Searle came closest, at 42 days and 16 hours.)

During the ensuing fanfare, some details seem to have been glossed over or conveniently left out. The 29-year-old Hughes lost unsupported status when she had a food resupply near Thiels Corner, thus altering her record to youngest female to ski solo to the Pole. She bested Anja Blacha, also 29, by a mere 15 days, although Blacha did a much longer trek, truly unsupported. Davis, who was having stove issues, also took a resupply in the final days of her effort.

In recent years, resupplies (and even the presence of guides) have sometimes not been mentioned in expedition write-ups. Minor quibbles to some, but as the trade routes in Antarctica have evolved into sport and record collecting, details matter. Hughes and Davis still put in solid efforts, but their resupplies do separate their achievements from the very best of Antarctic travel.

About the Author

Ash Routen

Ash Routen

Ash is a postdoctoral scientist, globally published outdoor writer and arctic traveller. Ash's next expedition is a 700km trek along the coast of Baffin Island in 2020.

Read more at www.ashrouten.com

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3 Comments on "Antarctica: Two British Soloists Were Resupplied"

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PolarQuest
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Ash, why would you include the statement ” some details seem to have been glossed over or conveniently left out.” in your missive about these Women yet in recent viewpoints you wrote about Horn & Ousland`s venture across the North, you consistently glossed over or conveniently left out the fact that their expedition ended with an almost disastrous rescue ? If this is a platform for factual reportage of events, such selective opinions & bias, undermine its credibility as a news source.