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December 31, 2009

All-woman Antarctic expedition team reaches South Pole

     Wellington: A seven-member strong women's Commonwealth Antarctic expedition team has made it to the South Pole after 50 days of trekking. According to a report in NZ Herald News, among the seven-member strong team was Kylie Wakelin, who became the first New Zealand woman to reach the South Pole. Wakelin was selected after spending 16 years running Glacier Explorers boat trips in the small lake at the foot of the Tasman Glacier, and taking part in ski-touring and mountaineering expeditions in a number of countries, as well as working one season for the British Antarctic Survey. "We're all absolutely ecstatic. The feeling of finally getting there was absolutely brilliant," she said. "We're a little bit short on food, but we are now under the safety umbrella," she added. Each woman was in good health, having towed an 80kg sled loaded with food, fuel and equipment for the past 39 days - skiing for six to 10 hours a day - to travel nearly 900km to the pole and mark the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth. They expected to be airlifted from the pole back to their starting point, a commercial expedition base at the Patriot Hills, near the bottom of South America, and then to fly back to London via Chile. The expedition comprises women from Brunei, Cyprus, Ghana, India, Singapore and Britain.
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