Commonwealth Expedition Team Brace Ice Fields of Antarctic

Photo by Robert Hollingworth

The Commonwealth Antarctic Team, a team of women from six Commonwealth nations, are currently heading towards the Thiel Mountains in the Antarctic and are taking a four-day detour to avoid treacherous cravass fields.

The expedition is marking the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth with the aim of promoting international co-operation and highlighting the achievements of women.

The giant gaps in the ice that the team are avoiding can run for several kilometres, and be hundreds of metres deep. When snow settles across them, they can become entirely masked from explorer teams. The Commonwealth skiiers have employed the use of an aerial photographer to aid their navigation around the cravasses, but are now having to tread carefully to avoid any undetected gaps.

On reaching their target, the team members from Brunei and Cyprus will be the first persons from their nation, male or female, to ski to the South Pole. Those from India, New Zealand and Singapore will be the first women from their nation to make this prestigious journey.

The adventure has not been without disappointment for some, however. Two weeks ago 30-year-old Kim-Marie Spence from Kingston, Jamaica, had to be evacuated from the team due to frost bite on her fingers.

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