Today is March 8th, International Women’s Day! Polarquest2018 dedicates it to the polar explorer Laurence de la Ferrière
Laurence de la Ferrière is a French mountaineer, explorer and writer. After breaking the woman’s world record for altitude without oxygen on Mount Everest in 1992, she became in 1999 the first and only person ever to have crossed alone the Antarctic completely.
Laurence reached the South Pole and the Dumont-d’Urville base in Terre Adélie, in the south-east of the continent, with 150 kilos of equipment that she dragged behind her in a Kevlar sleigh, using only skis and a sail to take advantage of the winds. During this world premiere, she registered a video diary which then became the movie “Seule en Antarctique” (alone in Antarctica).
But this never-repeated sporting feat was not only about sport and exploration, it was complemented by a scientific mission to collect samples for the Polar Institute.
Every 40 km, she had to take a snow core of 1.20 meters and keep a sample of 15 to 20 milliliters. For Jean-Robert Petit, research director at the Laboratory of Glaciology and Environmental Geophysics, these few molecules of water would tell us the story of thousands of years.
After her expedition, she started giving conferences about her experience in Antarctica, where she came back in 2018 to lead the Dumont-d’Urville base for one year, and wrote six books.
By bringing together science and exploration, and then sharing her adventure with the citizens of the world, Laurence set a great example of what Polarquest2018 looks up to.
We will sail to the Svalbard archipelago in summer 2018 on a 60-foot sailing boat designed to sail in the polar regions in a self-sufficient mode, Nanuq, looking for answers to one of the greatest challenges of our time, climate change, and raising awareness about its consequences.
So, on this International day of feminist struggles, let’s celebrate one of the greatest polar explorers of the world, Laurence de la Ferrière, and support Polarquest2018’s explorers by sharing their adventure and donating to support the expedition!