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.

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