2 Indians to figure in all-women expedition to South Pole
Six women aged 24 to 74 years are all set to embark on a unique expedition to South Pole, scripting a number of records as they do so.
The surreal remoteness, extreme cold, enormous ice shelves and untouched mountain ranges make Antarctica the coldest and driest place on the globe and also one of the most isolated locations in the world.
Janice Meek, a Guinness World Record holding polar adventurer will be leading a team of five women, including two talented Indians — 24-year-old Tanvi Buch from Mumbai who is a student at the University of British Columbia and Madhabilata Mitra from Kolkata.
Buch would be the youngest Indian to ski to the South Pole if she successfully completes it.
Mitra is a trained mountaineer and a super-model and will be the first Bengali to visit the South Pole.
She is an instructor at Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and also works as a high-altitude trek guide.
The team will also have Denise Martin, Canadian guide and trainer, Caroline Geraerts, a breast cancer survivor and an avid adventurer who is aiming to become the oldest woman to reach both North and South Poles within 12 calendar months, and Aileen Crean, grand-daughter of Ireland's most celebrated explorer Tom Crean who is planning to achieve the unfulfilled dream of the latter.
Meek, the oldest of the lot, is out there to prove that "age is no barrier" and believes that one should always harp on the "why not" rather than the "why".
Regarding the training, Meek adds: "If one can be on their feet for long and have a strong core, they can do it. Just eat well, exercise well and be determined."
The team will train in Scotland from September 1 to 9. After that, they will go to London and return to India.
"In December, we will fly from South America and after reaching Antarctica we will be taken to a special camp called Union Glacier from where we will head for the magnetic pole."
Buch thanks her parents for their encouragement and says: "This was totally unexpected. There is a lot of positive energy that has been generated within the team and I'm enjoying every bit of it. I'm trying to keep myself fit and my main focus now is this expedition. It'll definitely be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Mitra says she is super-excited and overwhelmed with this opportunity. Regarding the challenges, she says: "I am a trained mountaineer and recently underwent rescue training to avoid any difficult situation during rock climbing and mountaineering."
The expedition, aptly titled the "Polar Maidens," will highlight how ordinary women can achieve the extraordinary, expand their horizons and inspire others to explore their strengths.