Teen Trains In Freezer For South Pole Trek

Nov 14, 2011 8:05am
ht shackleton in flight 100209 main Teen Trains In Freezer For South Pole Trek

Courtesy U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command

Meet Amelia Hempleman-Adams: a tall, slim high-school student with one of the world’s most ambitious adventures ahead of her. The 16-year-old Brit hopes to become the youngest person to ski the 97 miles to the South Pole. After months of training, hiking the hills around her native Wiltshire, England, skiing in the Alps and sleeping out in a supermarket freezer alongside frozen turkeys, her challenge begins next weekend.

Exploration is in her blood. Her father, David Hempleman-Adams, was the first person in history to reach the geographic and magnetic North and South Poles as well as climb the highest peaks in all seven continents – the so-called Adventurers’ Grand Slam. He has broken umpteen records, on land, water and in the air. He has made 30 Arctic expeditions and has reached the Poles a record 14 times. And it’s not the first time he’s dragged one of his offspring along; in 2005, Amelia’s sister Alicia, then 15, became the youngest person to trek to the North Pole.

On November 18, David and Amelia will fly to Chile en route to the Union Glacier camp in Antarctica to acclimatize for two weeks before beginning their trek from The Farthest South Point, the spot Sir Ernest Shackleton abandoned his expedition in 1907.  With daily averages around -40 to -60 degrees Fahrenheit, Amelia will have to consume 8,000 calories a day to stay warm and maintain her energy, which means  “loads of chocolate,” for the candy lover.

While learning to eat, go to the bathroom and get dressed wearing thick gloves, her father has made her practice writing — after all, she can’t fall behind on her school work.

Her biggest worry?  ”I am not sure if I’ll be able to sleep as it is 24 hour daylight at the South Pole and dad is a terrible snorer,” she told the BBC.

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