A former Staffordshire Guide and Young Leader has reached the South Pole for the second time!
Major Natalie Taylor was part of a scientific research expedition, Inspire 22, which crossed the polar plateau from the Ross Ice Shelf to the South Pole took 47 days and covered 944km.
The expedition saw the 11-strong team skiing seven hours a day with just two rest days. They arrived at the South Pole at on January 9.
Attributing her sense of adventure to her background in Girlguiding, Natalie even took a Guide badge with her this time to photograph at the South Pole!
Some of the challenges facing the team included temperatures that dropped to -40C with the biggest dangers being frostbite and muscular injuries as well as loss of energy.
Each member of the team had to pull a pouk (sledge) of food and supplies weighing between 60kg and 79kg.
Major Taylor, who was both the expedition and research leader, said: “We needed to keep a close eye on each other to make sure we were all coping okay with the exertion and conditions.
“It was challenging physically, as well as mentally. Many in the team spoke of the monotony of views and doing the same thing hour after hour. It was also extremely cold most of the time.”
The first time Natalie reached the South Pole was in January 2018. She was part of the first all-female team to ski across Antarctica using muscle power alone. The six women crossed the continent coast to coast and also became the largest team to ski the longer 1704km route.
The main aim of this expedition was to research metabolism. The team carried out human tests throughout the journey.
Major Taylor explained: “Our research is focused on healthy people during a long and arduous expedition, which shows how the body works when people are consuming a lot of energy but not eating enough.
“This is the same as people who are very poorly in intensive care. The information gained from our scientific project has the potential to help medics to try different ways to treat and care for people who are very unwell. The results will be produced in due course.”
It’s over 100 year since Roald Amundsen’s first expedition from the Ross Ice Shelf to the South Pole but it still remains an enormous physical and mental challenge.
Major Taylor has spoken at great lengths to members of Girlguiding Staffordshire about her first expedition to the South Pole and we can’t wait to hear about this latest adventure on her return.