British teen becomes youngest to ski to South Pole
Guinness World Records is looking to verify the trek for its records.
Fri, Dec 09, 2011 at 01:41 AM
LONDON — Amelia Hempleman-Adams, a 16-year-old schoolgirl whose father was the first Briton to reach the South Pole solo and unsupported, has become the youngest person to ski to the bottom of the world.
She joined her adventurer dad David Hempleman-Adams on the two-week, 97-mile trek to the South Pole from explorer Ernest Shackleton's Farthest South Point. Shackleton's granddaughter Alexandra Shackleton had met with Hempleman-Adams before the trip and had given the young expeditionist a photograph of her grandfather to take to the Pole.
The nine-strong party completed the journey at 0130 GMT Friday after a final 14-mile push.
"I'm really proud to have actually made it and just really happy," the younger Hempleman-Adams said by satellite phone from the Pole.
"It's really exciting to be able to achieve something like this.
"It hasn't quite sunk in yet that we've actually made it because it's been such a tough journey but I'm sure it will in the next few days.
"We arrived here and we all just hugged each other and congratulated each other and it was really nice to finally get here."
The teenage explorer took her homework with her but her father removed some of it from the sledge, saying it would be too heavy.
Appropriately, she did manage to take along her geography work, "but by the time you get into the tent at night it's too late to even think about doing anything", she said.
Hempleman-Adams spent time training for the expedition in a frozen food storage facility in southwest England.
Guinness World Records said the record for the youngest person to trek overland to the South Pole without the use of dogs or motorized vehicles was set by Canadian Sarah Ann McNair-Landry, who was 18 when she reached the Pole on Jan. 11, 2005.
She made the 680-mile kite-assisted trip as part of an unsupported expedition led by her mother.
"At 16, Amelia could be on course to break the current Guinness World Record," a Guinness World Records spokesman said.
"We look forward to hearing from Amelia's party so that we can look into verifying this feat."
Hempleman-Adams said seeing what her father's expeditions were all about had been her aim, rather than rewriting the record books.
"I didn't really do it to go out and get a record. I just wanted the experience, especially with my dad. I'm really proud to finish it," she said.
Copyright 2011 AFP European Edition