South Pole New Year's For All Woman Team

British team plans to trek 700 miles to pole and celebrate New Year's Eve

An all-British team of women aims to foot-slog the 700 miles to the South Pole by New Year's Eve and celebrate the midnight countdown with a bottle of champagne at the bottom of the world. Conceivably, they could celebrate midnight several times over depending on where they are standing. They would be the first all women expedition to conquer both Poles according to the Western Daily Press.

The Women's South Poll 2000 team members was given a royal send off recently at St James's Palace where their patron Prince Charles said: "I hope they all survive". The five members of the team are all friends and were part of the 20-strong relay party that in May 1997 marched into the history books when they became the first all-women expedition to trek to the North Pole.

There would be several differences from their earlier trip to the North Pole. There are no polar bears and the South Pole is a landmass they won't have to worry about falling into the water this time. One team member survived a chilly fall into the arctic waters during the North Pole trip.

To reach the South Pole they will have to pull sledges of up to twice their bodyweight across the frozen continent for up to 70 days, starting at the end of October. They will be making their trek without a guide but will have a satellite beacon and they will also provide progress reports on a website.

The US Naval Observatory has determined that the first place on earth to see the first Year 2000 sunrise will be a remote spot in Antarctica.

Western Daily Press

DATE: 10/6/99

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