18th January 2020

In_pictures In Pictures: Mollie Hughes reaches South Pole

In_pictures In Pictures: Mollie Hughes reaches South Pole

In_pictures

in_pictures Mollie HughesImage copyright
Mollie Hughes

Edinburgh adventurer Mollie Hughes, 29, became the youngest woman to ski solo to the South Pole on Friday 10 January.

It took 58.5 days, pulling all her food in a sledge during her lone trek across Antarctica.

Edinburgh-based and Devon-born Hughes skied solo from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole. Now recuperating in Chile, the 29-year-old has been able to enjoy her first hot shower in two months and upload pictures of her expedition.

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Mollie Hughes

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Mollie Hughes

Hughes spent almost 650 hours skiing alone battling through whiteouts, storm-force winds and temperatures hitting -45C. Pulling a sled weighing 105kg, she skied for between 10 and 12 hours a day and consumed about 4,500kcal per day.

Hughes took the world record from previous holder, Vilborg Gissuradottir from Iceland, who completed the challenge in 2013 when she was 32.

in_pictures Mollie HughesImage copyright
Mollie Hughes

in_pictures Mollie HughesImage copyright
Mollie Hughes

in_pictures Mollie HughesImage copyright
Mollie Hughes

The feat means Hughes has now broken two world records. In 2017, aged 26, she became the world’s youngest person to climb both the south and north sides of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak.

in_pictures Mollie HughesImage copyright
Mollie Hughes

in_pictures Mollie HughesImage copyright
Mollie Hughes

in_pictures Mollie HughesImage copyright
Mollie Hughes

She started her expedition on 13 November from Hercules Inlet in Western Antarctica.

Having initially hoped to reach the South Pole by New Year’s Day, she was almost derailed by severe weather in the first two weeks.

She faced headwinds of more than 55knots, temperatures of -45C and a whiteout for eight days in a row. Hughes had to put dressings on her weather-beaten cheeks.

in_pictures Mollie HughesImage copyright
Mollie Hughes

in_pictures Mollie HughesImage copyright
Mollie Hughes

in_pictures Mollie HughesImage copyright
Mollie Hughes

Only six other women and 17 men have successfully completed the trip without making any stops to resupply. After a few days resting in Chile she is expected to arrive back into Edinburgh on Wednesday.

in_pictures Mollie HughesImage copyright
Mollie Hughes

in_pictures Mollie HughesImage copyright
Mollie Hughes

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All pictures by Mollie Hughes.

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