British explorer, Felicity Aston, is the first and only woman in the world to ski across Antarctica alone. The 1084-mile, 59-day journey completed in January 2012 also made her the first person in the world to do so without the aid of kites or machines. Named by ‘Outside Magazine’ as a 2012 Adventurer of the Year, she was entered into the Book of Guinness World Records. Elected Fellow of both The Explorers Club in Now York and the Royal Geographical Society in London, in 2015 she was awarded an MBE and The Queen’s Polar Medal by HM Queen Elizabeth II for services in Antarctica, making her one of few women ever to receive these prestigious honours.
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Trained as a Physicist and Meteorologist, Felicity’s first polar experience was as a scientist with the British Antarctic Survey. Based for three years on a remote research station on the Antarctic Peninsula, her job was to monitor climate and ozone. Since then, Felicity has led several other notable expeditions including a 22,000-mile journey by Land Rover to the Pole of Cold, the first British women’s ski crossing of Greenland, a 450-mile winter ski crossing of Lake Baikal in Siberia and an adventurous expedition in Iceland for young people with a brain injury. She has also completed the notorious Marathon Des Sables, a 150-mile foot race across the Sahara. In 2009 she led the 38-day, 600-mile Kaspersky Lab Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition, the largest and most international women’s team ever to ski to the South Pole. The team included women from Brunei Darussalam, Cyprus, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Singapore and New Zealand. Felicity was responsible for selecting, training and leading this diverse, multicultural team of ‘ordinary’ women for one of the most arduous journeys on Earth. Her book about the expedition, ‘Call of the White: Taking the World to the South Pole’ was published in March 2011 and was a finalist in the Banff Mountain Book Competition that year. Her second book, ‘Alone in Antarctica’ was released in the US by Counterpoint in 2014 and was recommended as ‘Best Fall Read’ by National Geographic.
When not on expedition, Felicity writes for several international publications on science, engineering and the environment, and has presented two major series’ for the BBC, the first involved flying an airship across the United States looking at cloud physics and the second saw her retracing the route of the 1898 Yukon Gold Rush.