Common Southern Goal
Twizel pilot Kylie Wakelin, 36, is one of eight women skiing to the South Pole in a trek to mark the anniversary of the Commonwealth grouping of 53 former British colonies. Skiing six to 10 hours a day, they expect to travel 800km across the frozen southern continent to the pole in about 40 days. Each is towing a sledge with food and gear weighing some 80kg. The Commonwealth Women’s Antarctic Expedition will face blinding blizzards, winds in excess of 130km/h, hidden crevasses and temperatures that plummet to minus 40°C. In recent years, Wakelin has taken part in ski-touring and mountaineering expeditions to Norway, Greenland, Alaska, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. She has also previously worked in Antarctica for the British Antarctic Survey. Wakelin says an all women’s expedition has always been a goal. “I hope to inspire women in the 30’s-plus age bracket that ‘anything is possible with a dream, a plan and a lot of determination,’ Wakelin says.