Skiing into the Bright Open: My Solo Journey to the South Pole: Arnesen, Liv
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Skiing into the Bright Open: My Solo Journey to the South Pole

Author(s): Arnesen, Liv

Copyright: 2021, US
Specifications: 1st English ed, 8vo, pp.xiv, 191, 16 bw photos, map, appendicies, wraps
Condition: new

The first woman to ski solo to the South Pole tells the story of what it took to get there.

At home in Norway it is eight o’clock on Christmas Eve, but ahead, at the Amundsen–Scott base that has been visible for hours, it is already early in the morning of Christmas Day when Arnesen, after skiing solo for 745 miles in fifty days, finally arrives. She had been dreaming of the South Pole for most of her forty-one years, and now, even in her joy at having reached her goal in December 1994, she has to ask herself: what took you so long? Arnesen describes the exhausting, exhilarating experience of being the first known woman to ski unsupported to the South Pole. She also answers her own question, framing her account of her historic expedition with her longtime struggle to find the freedom and confidence to follow her dreams into uncharted territory.

From her childhood in Norway to the seasons she spent working as a guide on Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, Arnesen courted the cold, and her memoir reflects the knowledge and passion for Arctic and Antarctic exploration that grew with her adventures in the wintry reaches of Norway and beyond. Tracing her path from the heroic stories of explorers like Fridtjof Nansen and Ernest Shackleton to her own crossing of the Greenland Ice Cap in 1992, Arnesen credits the inspiring feats of those who preceded her but also describes the obstacles—including niggling self-doubt—that tradition, convention, and downright prejudice put in her way as she endeavored to find the support and sponsorship granted to men in her field.

A tale of solitary adventure in the bleak and beautiful bone-chilling cold of Antarctica, she tells a story of gritty determination, thrilling achievement, and perseverance in the face of near despair and daunting odds; it is, ultimately, an object lesson in the power of a dream if one is willing to pursue it to the ends of the earth. Translated by Roland Huntford.

In 2000-01, Arneson, and American Ann Bancroft, became the first women to cross the Antarctic contient on foot, a 1717 mile journey.


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