From Union Glacier in Antarctica we are dropped off by ski aircraft at 89° South and begin to pull sleds 60 nautical miles (111km) to the most southerly point on Earth – the Geographic South Pole. As Antarctica is the highest, driest, windiest, coldest continent in the world, conditions can be tough with temperatures averaging between -25C and -40C. Often sleds have to be pulled over sastrugi – hard-packed, wind-blown snow. Those lucky enough to reach the South Pole can also tour the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.
About Vanessa O’Brien
Vanessa O’Brien is a British mountaineer and an American mountaineer (as a result of her dual nationality), explorer, aquanaut, author, and public speaker.
Vanessa has an incredible five Guinness World Records: First, Fastest, Deepest, Farthest and Oldest. Vanessa is the first woman to reach earth’s highest (Mt. Everest 8,848m) and lowest points (Challenger Deep 10,925m), the fastest woman to climb the seven summits in 295 days, the first person to reach the top of Chimborazo and the depths of Challenger Deep at 35,843 feet for a full three hours of bottom time, the first woman to complete the Four Poles Challenge, going the farthest north * south * east * west from to the Top of Everest to Challenger Deep to the geographic north and south poles, and the oldest woman to summit K2, the second tallest peak at 8,611m at 52 years old.
She became the first American woman to summit K2 and the first British woman to successfully summit K2, receiving Explorer of the Year by the SES for her efforts in 2018. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and an Honorary Advisory Board member of the Scientific Exploration Society (SES).
Vanessa climbed the highest peak on every continent, receiving a Guinness World Record setting a record for the fastest time a woman first achieved this goal (295 days). Vanessa has skied the last 111 km to the South and North Poles completing the Explorers Grand Slam in 11 months, becoming the first woman to do so in under a year and the 8th woman in the world. Vanessa ran the Boston Marathon in 2017, helping to raise money for the American Red Cross, has been shot testing bulletproof clothing at point blank range by Miguel Caballero with a .38 long revolver, and also reached 200 mph riding with Mario Andretti at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2018.
Vanessa O’Brien Tweets
FRGS, first woman to reach Earth’s highest and deepest points. Mountaineer, Explorer, Author. My memoir To The Greatest Heights is out now!