Amelia, 16, conquers the South Pole

9th Dec 2011
Written by: Mary Short

Amelia, 16, conquers the South Pole

Amelia Hempleman-Adams has completed the adventure of a lifetime and become the youngest person to ski to the South Pole aged just 16.

She is the daughter of British explorer David Hempleman-Adams who completed the expedition alongside her.

The pair said they were “elated but tired” after camping in the Antarctic for 17 nights and enduring temperatures as low as -50oC. They reached the South Pole at 1.30am after skiing 97 miles.

Amelia told the BBC: “This expedition has been an extraordinary experience. The biggest challenges were the freezing cold, dried food, pulling frozen poo in a sledge, dad's snoring.

“The best bit has been experiencing what dad does on expeditions. It's the first time I've been on a trek with him and now I know what it's like. Would I do it again? I'll have to think about that after a few nights' sleep.”

David expressed his pride in his daughter, but said the trip had been one of his most daunting.

“Amelia has done amazingly well. I'm very proud of her. This expedition was probably the most challenging for me. I'm very protective of Amelia who is my youngest daughter.

“It's one thing going off on an expedition on your own but another thing when you are looking after your own teenager daughter. Obviously, I wanted to make sure she returned to the UK with all her fingers and toes.”

But it's not the first time David has completed a trek with one of his daughters; Amelia's sister, Alicia, became the youngest person to trek to the North Pole at the age of 15.

What expeditions and treks have you been on? Have you been to Antarctica as part of your gap year?

If you’re interested in expeditions then read our introductory guide to expeditions. It’s packed full of useful advice and it might just make you want to go on an expedition yourself next year.


City Slickers Hostel Package

from £895

15 days

Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlan...

Our most popular package, City Slickers will take you to six of Europe’s most iconic - and unforgettable - cities.

Kings Landing Hostel Package

from £795

15 days


This package is your chance to see the best of beautiful Croatia - and follow in the footsteps of Games...

Unearthed Expedition And Social Entrepreneurship Course

from £2600

30 days

South Africa

Track Rhino on foot. Live in a Zulu village. Snorkel with Sharks in the warm Indian Ocean. Build confidence, leadership...

New Zealand Mountain Bike Tour

from £2365

16 days

New Zealand

The best of the North. The best of the South. They both come together over an epic 16 days to...

Become an Accredited Safari Guide

from £3580

90 days

South Africa

Join our three month, fully accredited guide training program. This is a lot more than a safari guide training program,...

Rhino Conservation in Africa

from £1695

14 days


Join a rhino conservation project in Uganda, before heading off on a 3 day safari to see other African wildlife

Volunteer at an Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand

from £779

7 days


Care for elephants in an amazing sanctuary just 3 hours from Bangkok

Elephant Conservation Volunteering in Thailand

from £965

7 days


Help to give elephants a chance to live in the wild on this inspirational project in Thailand

Conservation Volunteering in Thailand

from £1125

14 days


Join a marine conservation project on a remote Thai island. Far from the crowds of backpackers and tourists, experience real...

Africa Overland Coast to Coast

from £1695

56 days

Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa...

Travelling overland from Kenya to the Cape, this trip is for adventurous travelers who are willing to be part of...

[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]