First woman to ski solo across Antarctica: Felicity Aston sets world record (Video)
Hercules Inlet, Antarctica -- British adventurer Felicity Aston, 34, completed her crossing of Antarctica, after skiing more than 1,700 kilometres across the ice in 59 days - and setting the world record for the first woman to ski alone across Antarctica,
according to World Record Academy (www.worldrecordacademy.com).
Photo: Felicity Aston takes a picture of herself at Union glacier. Photo: Kaspersky Lab/AP (enlarge photo)
The 33-year-old's arrival was announced with a Twitter message from her support team saying: !!!Felicity has reached her destination - Hercules Inlet - after 59 days !!!Congratulations to the 1st female to traverse Antarctica SOLO. V proud."
Several hours later, she tweeted: "Sitting in my tent in the middle of Hercules Inlet waiting for a plane to come and pick me up. I've been promised red wine and a hot shower."
The Guinness world record for the Largest penguin colony in the world is on Zavodovski Island in the South Sandwich Islands. Approximately two million chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarctica) breed on the slopes of the island which is an active volcano.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the Largest dessert (cold), set by Antarctica (14 million km²; 5.4 million miles²), with about 50 mm (2 in) of precipitation per year.
Aston, from Kent in south-east England, began her trek on November 25 at the Ross Ice Shelf and, after a stop-off at the South Pole, finally reached Hercules Inlet on the Ronne Ice Shelf on January 22 -- a distance of 1,744 km.
She battled freezing temperatures and winds to make the trip, dragging two sledges containing her food and equipment behind her as she skiied up hills and towards endless empty horizons.
Her journey had taken her from the Ross ice shelf, up the Leverett glacier and across the Transantarctic mountains to the continent's vast central plateau, where she had to fight headwinds most of the way to the south pole.
"Physically it has been tough, but the mental side has been really tough," she said.
"Being alone sounds like such a simple thing but when was the last time you a whole day without seeing any person? I have been going three weeks without seeing another person and feeling incredible lonliness.
AP news agency reported Ms Aston, 33, was also the first person to make the crossing using only her own strength to ski the 1,084 miles (1,744km).
In a podcast, Ms Aston said her last day had been "amazing", with an icy eight miles to cross.
"It's all a little bit overwhelming after days and days of counting the time and the distance to get here. I seem to have got here all of a rush all of a sudden and I don't really feel prepared for it. I mean it feels amazing to be finished and yet overwhelmingly sad that it's over at the same time," she said.
Ms Aston said her journey had been "an amazing privilege".