By Jessica Arellano
She conquered the North Pole, then Greenland, and now, for her final and most difficult trek, Jade Hameister will ski to the South Pole.
On December 6, Jade, who’s 16 and from Melbourne, will fly with her team to a drop-off point in Antarctica and then, alone, will head to the South Pole by ski and sled.
Trying a whole new route
“I’m really excited; a little bit nervous,” she says. “[I’m] excited because this is going to be a real adventure. We are going to attempt a new route from the coast to the pole … [and I’m] nervous because I know it’s going to be the hardest expedition of the three.”
Only 20 women have skied from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole with no help.
“No Australian woman has done it yet,” says Jade. “I’m sure I’m going to find out why.”
‘No human has set foot there’
When Jade was 14 she became the youngest person to ski 150 kilometres to the North Pole. When she was 15 she became the youngest woman to ski across the 550-kilometre crossing of the Greenland icecap. And she pulled an 80-kilogram sled with supplies!
In this last challenge of the three-leg expedition, Jade will ski more than 600 kilometres in 40 days.
“We are going to ski a new route from the coast to the South Pole, starting from the Ross ice shelf then up the Kansas glacier,” says Jade. “No human has ever set foot there.”
Fragile parts of the planet
Jade says this trip is not only about finishing her polar quest. It’s also about seeing the beautiful polar regions before they disappear because of global warming.
“Reaching the North Pole and completing the Greenland crossing were very special, but for me it’s more the privilege of being able to experience these beautiful and precious environments that are disappearing,” she says.
“It’s those moments when I’m alone in my thoughts skiing and taking in the wonder of these fragile parts of our planet that are the best.”