EP06 – Felicity Aston – Spending two months alone in Antarctica + other tales of doing what no woman has done before

Felicity Aston

 


 
Today on AntArctic Stories, we speak with Felicity Aston. Her story is absolutely incredible - going from someone who didn't particularly like Phys Ed class in school to being the first woman to ever cross the Antarctic continent alone over the course of two months, she has shown that courage, tenacity, and mindset are more important in achieving massive goals than pure physical capability.

In this episode, Felicity shares how she first fell in love with Antarctica while working as a meteorologist on a research base, what made her go back time and again, and also the inspiration behind taking a group of women - many of whom had never seen snow prior to signing up for the expedition - to the South Pole on skis.

She also takes us into the unique experience of being alone in Antarctica for two months during her 2012 crossing of the continent, battling horrendous weather, and her own mind, to achieve what no woman had ever done before, landing her in the Guinness Book of World Records among other accolades.

Felicity has since taken a group of women to the North Pole as well, among other notable expeditions and adventures.

Have a listen to her story and let us know what you'd like us to ask her on future episodes by emailing contact {at} twintracksexpeditions.com

 

CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO ENLARGE

 

HIGHLIGHTS

4:20 - On skiing to the North Pole with a team of women from Europe and the Middle East

6:30 - What led up to the 2009 expedition when Felicity took 7 women with almost no experience to ski to the South Pole

10:10 - Felicity talks about how living on an Antarctic research base, and the training that came along with it from the British Antarctic Survey prepared her for her future ski crossings

11:15 - Next phase: Felicity tries to hold a 'regular job' in London

11:45 - Then she takes on the Adventure Race to the North Magnetic Pole and talks about how that differed from her BAS training in terms of pushing oneself physically and mentally, traveling light and fast, with help close at hand if needed

13:50 - Crossing the Greenland ice sheet with 3 other British women, marrying the best of her different types of expeditionary training to find the best combo that worked

15:15 - Felicity slowly begins to realize through training a variety of different people for expeditions that in fact, she can help anyone who has the will complete a polar expedition because in the end, it's all about mindset

15:40 - Tired of seeing a bunch of middle-aged, middle-class white men from Northern Europe and North America get all the glory for their tales of polar achievement, Felicity decides to put her theory to the test and take a bunch of women from all over the globe to the South Pole

17:00 - On the challenges of leadership when you have a team with a variety of different needs that are so out of their element, as well as increasingly tired both mentally and physically

20:00 - How even being an experienced leader doesn't immunize you from second-guessing yourself and what happens when you don't perform as best as you'd like

24:10 - Felicity's solo crossing of Antarctica in 2012 and what it was like to be unutterably alone on the earth's most inhospitable continent

26:30 - On realizing she hadn't prepared at all for being solo for so long and how she managed to live with a constant level of fear throughout the expedition

33:30 - What it's like having a little devil on your shoulder all the time telling you to take it easy because no one will ever know

35:51 - On finding out that who you think you are in your core isn't necessarily who you truly are, and that being alone for so long makes you reassess what you're actually made of

36:55 - Not being a person who was into physical fitness to begin with, Felicity talks about what made her want to take on these incredible feats of endurance and become the explorer that she is

42:50 - On the challenge of trying to figure out what to do next with your life or your plans

45:00 - The importance of taking the time to spread the message of each expedition in order to create the results you wanted to achieve

48:20 - The challenges of raising funds and getting sponsorship for expeditions - does gaining credibility make things any easier?

53:30 - On the importance of making choices intentionally with regards to polar exploration as well as life outside of expeditions

59:00 - On being stuck in a line of work because you feel like you have to, and making sure that you are where you want to be

1:01:00 - What it's like fitting in to life in Reykjavik

1:05:50 - What's next? Editing is underway for the film about her North Pole Euro-Arabian expedition AND there's a book coming out as well
 

LINKS

 

Felicity Aston's website

Felicity on Facebook

Felicity on Twitter

Felicity on Linkedin

 

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