The winter of 2012, at least here in New England, has been mild and snowless. What a wonderful way to thaw out after my South Pole expedition only two weeks ago!
I am now feeling the joy and sense of accomplishment being on such a mission can bring. And of course I am now looking toward my next adventure! In May I will once again head to the arctic. This time to cross the arctic circle from west to east across Greenland. This will be the third and final leg of The Polar Trilogy, my amazing mission for the past year. I will once again have the support of sled dogs. As I learned on the North Pole, these animals are incredible. Strong, happy and committed critters who love what they do and spread the joy to all around them.
It was the dogs, and their commitment to the trail and their master, that led me to my newest and extremely exciting mission.
This coming fall I will commence a two year training in Alaska to be the first person with MS to run the Iditarod in 2014. I am beyond excited! Stay tuned as I learn how to mush 16 dogs from Anchorage to Nome, a 1000 mile race through the heart of Alaska.
Explore on and never stop!
Thanks to the Financial Times and Matthew Engel for this shout-out to Wendy! “It would be nice to believe that we were toasting our forefathers whose suffering made our own visit possible. But I think we were more wrapped up in what we had done. Some had good reason: Worsley, More…
It was tough, but the journey was so incredibly joyful because of the four other people I shared it with. We set out to prove that a team could laugh all the way to the South Pole and beyond creating an inner warmth which not even a cup of hot cocoa could top. We became a family of dysfunctional siblings who could say anything to one another and at the end of the day feel the strength of our team dynamics. Five invisible polar warriors who boldly told a competing team of young, viral, handsome British blokes to “Eat our snow!”
I feel so much gratitude to all my friends and followers who have cheered me on. Even via satellite phone, I hear your comments and emails and they cheer me on when I am struggling. And a huge thank you to Teva and Copaxone for making it possible for me to represent MS in such a powerful way. When I stand somewhere like the South Pole, I feel like all of my sponsors and supporters are there with me! Explore on, Wendy Booker
Dispatch from Wendy Booker – January 14, 2012 – 4:38 Chilean Time “Great news! I have reached the South Pole. The day was tough with -22 air temperature and 15 – 20 knot winds, but the effort was all worth it. What an awesome experience!”
We left this morning with 11.8 nautical miles to go. It was so flat and clear that you could see the South Pole complex of buildings (really quite a distance away) like it was right in front of you. The National Science Foundation and Raytheon both have operations at the Pole. The experience today for me was reminiscent of Dorothy gazing across the endless carpet of poppies but being unable to reach the other side. From the time we awoke this morning until we made camp, the South Pole seemed tantalizingly close, but was oh so far away!
We have just 44 miles left to go until we reach the South Pole! It was another beautiful day in the awe-inspiring beauty of the polar plateau. One of coolest things that happens is the shifting of the packed snow beneath our feet. Our weight makes the icy sheets of compacted snow beneath us collapse which makes a sound like a thunder clap. And the shift, short downward motion is similar to a short drop in an elevator. It’s a really interesting phenomenon that we experience everyday. I’ve occupied my mind today thinking about how the early explorers even managed to reach the South Pole at all.
These poles are an interesting experience. We schlepp sleds for about 6 hours each day, but the rest of the time is devoted to staying alive with only a thin layer of fabric between you and the elements. So while some energy is devoted to skiing and pulling, much of the time is spent simply staying alive… keeping warm, heating water, lighting stoves, drying clothes, preparing food, etc.
A casual runner, Wendy Booker started running in marathons and finished 10. As someone who liked to travel, she decided to take up mountain climbing and has scaled six of the seven highest peaks in the world (only the altitude of Mount Everest forced her to turn back). Now a member of Team Copaxone (the only drug she uses to hold her MS in check) she has, at age 55, begun a new quest on New Yearas Day, reaching the South Pole by foot, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the pole on Jan. 17. She already reached the North Pole last year, and will cross Greenland next year as well.