Icelander Vilborg Arna Gissurardóttir completed her 1,140-kilometer, 60-day journey to the South Pole late yesterday evening. In doing so, she becomes the first Icelandic woman to make the journey.
Vilborg is walking to support the Women’s Ward of the Landspítali National University Hospital. So far, Vilborg has raised ISK 5 million (USD 38,800, EUR 29,100) including an ISK 1 million donation from supermarket Iceland.
Yesterday, she completed the final 18 kilometers in temperatures of -26ºC (-14.8ºF). Vilborg, who is 32 years old, told mbl.is that she had been dreaming about making the journey for ten years.
On Wednesday she reflected on her two month journey in a blog post: “A great day behind and I’ve used the time to think a lot on my way. I travelled 19.2 km today in good weather. Right before I stopped today to set up my camp, I got a good view of the pole itself. What an amazing feeling! This is the last night in the tent before I finish... so it’s hard to describe the excitement and happiness in the Hilleberg tent. Tomorrow I will ski for victory as I will reach the South Pole.”
Earlier this week, it was feared that Vilborg would have to abandon her trek just 55 kilometers from the finish line after she fell ill with a stomach upset and minor frostbite on her legs. Conditions had been difficult throughout the journey in part due to sastrugi.
Vilborg carried two sledges with supplies and equipment, which at the beginning of her journey weighed 100 kilograms. “It is essential to be well prepared for a mission like this and to be able to deal with various situations that might arise,” she said before setting off, explaining that the food she brought would be energy rich, easy on the stomach and not weigh much.
Vilborg commenced her journey from Hercules Inlet in mid-November.
Click here to read more about this story, here to read Vilborg’s blog, and here for information on how to support her cause.