U.P. skiing maven reaches the South Pole
The adventurer from Marquette, Michigan, posted a video of herself on Facebook ski-stepping around the geographic South Pole. This accomplishment came more than nine years after Waara became the first Michigan woman to reach the North Pole on skis.
Waara is a board member for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum in Ishpeming, Michigan, and occasionally writes about skiing in the U.P. for Silent Sports.
In Antarctica filming a documentary, she told the magazine, "I skied around the world yesterday and it's only December 1. But really needed some start green wax."
On her Facebook page and at www.conditiononefilm.com, Waara and her fellow filmmaker John Major posted videos and updates on their trip into that vast expanse of snow and ice where temperatures were more than 60 below zero. "When you love snow, the places you can go," Waara said in a text message.
Waara said she met one of her heroines a few days earlier, Anne Dal Vera, who accompanied Ann Bancroft and two other women in 1993-94 on the first all women's ski expedition to the South Pole. "Four women who put their footprint for the first time in history across this continent," Waara wrote. "And it was just 100 years ago on December 14, 1911, that Roald Amundsen was the first to mark true south."
Waara and Major intend to follow in the footsteps of other arctic explorers with their film "Condition One" - a term used to describe the extreme weather conditions at the South Pole. According to their website, "Waara and Major will use their experiences in Antarctica to draw out students in interviews at schools in Detroit and Los Angeles, to talk about and contrast their fears, the hazards and challenges in their urban surroundings, uncovering, in effect, their own Condition One while revealing the universality of the human spirit."
The making of that compelling connection would have to wait until Waara returned home on December 23, concluding a long trip.
"The South Pole was the farthest I've ever traveled from home: 15,230 kilometers or 9,464 miles, and 12,420 miles from the North Pole, end to end on planet Earth," she wrote.
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