Read Alone in Antarctica: The First Woman To Ski Solo Across The Southern Ice by Felicity Aston Online


In the whirling noise of our advancing technological age, we are seemingly never alone, never out-of-touch with the barrage of electronic data and information.Felicity Aston, physicist and meteorologist, took two months off from all human contact as she became the first woman -- and only the third person in history – to ski across the entire continent of Antarctica alone.In the whirling noise of our advancing technological age, we are seemingly never alone, never out-of-touch with the barrage of electronic data and information.Felicity Aston, physicist and meteorologist, took two months off from all human contact as she became the first woman -- and only the third person in history – to ski across the entire continent of Antarctica alone. She did it, too, with the simple apparatus of cross-country, without the aids used by her prededecessors – two Norwegian men – each of whom employed either parasails or kites.Aston’s journey across the ice at the bottom of the world asked of her the extremes in terms of mental and physical bravery, as she faced the risks of unseen cracks buried in the snow so large they might engulf her and hypothermia due to brutalizing weather. She had to deal, too, with her emotional vulnerability in face of the constant bombardment of hallucinations brought on by the vast sea of whiteness, the lack of stimulation to her senses as she faced what is tantamount to a form of solitary confinement.Like Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, Felicity Aston’s Alone in Antarctica becomes an inspirational saga of one woman’s battle through fear and loneliness as she honestly confronts both the physical challenges of her adventure, as well as her own human vulnerabilities....

Title : Alone in Antarctica: The First Woman To Ski Solo Across The Southern Ice
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781619023475
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Alone in Antarctica: The First Woman To Ski Solo Across The Southern Ice Reviews

  • Kenny
    2018-12-15 09:10

    Good readable book of the first woman to walk across Antartica alone. As with these 'first' type people, I have loads of admiration, but less ability to directly relate. Sorry, there's a bit of me that feels I should like to, but I'm actually quite happy reading this with a mug of tea. Maybe that's why books like Gavin Francis's excellent Empire Antartica, his account as serving a year as base doctor at the British science base was one of my favourites (apart from him being a very good writer) there was a sense of a (slightly) more normal person in a fairly extraordinary place - but which was still tangible to readers.But Aston is a more human figure than most explorers and this is an engaging account of her time, and written with commendable brevity in most places. I enjoyed her honesty and being quite open about her emotions going through the trek in a way that not all are (and there may be a bit of gender stereotyping here? Well it makes for a better read).So good on her. I won't do it, but I'd enjoy whatever she does next.

  • Kitty Love
    2018-11-27 08:07

    I'm in the throes of planning a section hike on the PCT. I have never been tent camping before. I want to read this book ten times over. She wants you to leave with one piece of advice 'get out of the tent'. I love to walk; I love to hike. I'm scared to camp but I'm doing my research, working with my gear, and learning my style. I sleep in every chance I can get and hate getting out of bed. I need to learn to get out of the damn tent. I'll be fine. This book helped. Felicity Aston is officially one of my idols and I want to get a poster of her for my wall.

  • Erin
    2018-12-15 06:07

    This was the best book I've read in quite a while. It was fascinating to learn a little more about polar exploring and the impacts of isolation on the human psyche. I found it really engaging that as much as I could never imagine taking on a challenge like the author faced, she made the experience seem accessible and allowed the reader into the hardships and joys alike (spoiler: mostly hardships).Highly recommend.

  • Roseann
    2018-12-06 03:00

    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway.It is a fascinating story of survival in an extreme environment, as well as, loneliness. I enjoyed the book alot.

  • Joan
    2018-11-19 08:20

    DNF at page 75. I can cope no longer with the ghastly over-sentimentality and amateur dramatics and the seemingly constant references to silence and bloating and nausea. AND --- THERE IS NO MAP in this book! WTF!! And there is no index either but - there ARE pages of writing such as:'hanging gardens of snow blocks''my fragile sense of well-being''continued to swim into wind past my aquarium of mountains'..(wtf??)'physical pall of loneliness''it wasn't smooth but covered in a web of corrugations, reminding me of an organism under a microscope.''the silence crept back in, like water collecting in rock pools as the tide returns.''I nodded emphatically, my eyes wide in a caricature of the alarm I had felt as we had flown over them.''My stomach felt bloated with nerves..''I was now revisted by the recognisable pall of loneliness. The nausea returned too..''With a heavy weight of dread in my stomach...''Panic screamed though my mind like a beacon bleeping out an alert message over and over.'I was hoping for a solid, well-written day to day account of an Antarctic trek, complete with maps, conditions, equipment etc. This most certainly is not one.

  • Kerry
    2018-12-05 09:16

    Favorite quote: "It was clear to me that the success of my expedition had not depended on physical strength or dramatic acts of braver but on the fact that at least some progress -however small- had been made every single day. It had not been about glorious heroism but the humblest of qualities, a quality that perhaps we all too often fail to appreciate for its worth - that of perseverance." pg 239

  • Tim Roske
    2018-12-07 07:01

    Loved this account of her physical and emotional struggle. Highly recommended. I would like to see a map and some more detail of her gear.

  • Siri
    2018-12-08 03:03

    Great read. Amazing courage, great descriptions, a sense of humor, good introspection. Loved it.

  • Carroll Larremore
    2018-11-26 09:02

    Love anything about Antarctica, however, this one was particularly good. It was relatable and the author wrote of her experience in a most vulnerable way.

  • Alyssa
    2018-12-07 02:29

    I enjoyed the journey across Antarctica but would have liked a map and more photos.

  • Cindy Dyson Eitelman
    2018-12-09 04:24

    Before I start saying wonderful things about this, let me first blast the publisher. I read an American edition with the imprint 'Counterpoint Berkeley', so I don't know if they're to blame or it is the UK publisher, Summersdale Publishers Ltd. Whoever was to blame, here's what they did: NO MAPThis is a travel book and there's NO MAP. The continent of Antarctica has few mappable features--it wouldn't have needed to be a complicated map. A simple line drawing would have been better than nothing; better yet would have been a contour map showing the temperature gradients and the sastrugi zones and the crevass areas. But no map at all? Not acceptable.It had color pictures so they weren't sparing the expense. I don't get it.I'd followed along with her journey via NPR, so I knew what she'd planned--to ski alone across Antarctica, from the Ross Ice Shelf to the south pole, then across to the Hercules Inlet. As the seagull flies (theoretically, of course, since they don't fly in the interior of Antarctica), she took the shortest route across the continent. But the zig-zag route came up to 1700 kilometers. (1000 miles to me)NPR aired her daily reports via satellite phone, but the brief blurps told little of the trials of courage she faced. Her occasional mental breakdowns; her love affair with the sun; her amazing freaking will to endure and why the heck she decided to do such a thing in the first place--that's the subject of this book. She decided to sum up the experience with this:Keep getting out of the tent.If I can do that, each and every day, no matter the challenge, who knows where the next day will take me.

  • Dee Mills
    2018-12-07 10:29

    I liked this book less than I wanted. For me, I think the problem was that Aston never became a fully-recognized or even liked, person. She gives her athletic and educational background, but after that, we know little about her. So when she begins to experience emotional difficulties about being alone, after a while I found myself thinking ... who cares?I liked her descriptions of the physical challenges and would have much rather have had a shorter book dealing with the physical adventure with only a bit of the mental. If she had led me to be interested in her as a person, perhaps I would have emphasized more with her anxiety. I found her lack of follow-through details several times disconcerting. For example, she took time to describe how difficult it became to brave the cold to urinate. She said that she had used a device that helped on earlier arctic adventures, but then she failed to complete the tale. She had been purposely not drinking so that she wouldn't have to go often; she described that she was experiencing dehydration. But in the end, we don't know how or whether she solved this situation.I join with other readers in lamenting the lack of a map of her route. Antarctica is unknown to many of us, so it was difficult to orient myself as a reader to where she was logistically located at various points. I think this could have been a much better book with a good editor. Certainly what she accomplished was heroic.

  • Malin Friess
    2018-11-30 02:27

    Felicity Aston must be one of the strongest most resillient women on earth. Felicity (British polar exlorer) recounts her story of being the first woman (and only the third ever..but they used the aid of kites) to ski across the entire continent of Anarctica alone.Felicities writing improves just as her skiing does as she crosses this vast white continent. She shares her emotional vulnerabilities of fear, loneliness, inadequacy. Despite her success in finishing her designed task (even some days just moving 4 miles a day) towing a heavy sledge of gear behind is questionable if this was a healthy endeavor. At times she seemed crazy...negotiating and talking aloud to the sun to gain its pleasure and request its warmth. Other times she became increasingly antisocial--so disrupted when she saw other explorers. Other times a little savage..taking pride in learning to urinate standing up. Felicity lived off of mostly chocolate and poridge. She had a few close calls with a crevas and leaving her stove burning unattended in the tent. But mostly this book and her journey is remarkable..because she got out of her sleeping bag every day, hooked up her sledge, and skied 1700 kilometers into the wind. 5 stars. The human spirit and ability to endure is remarkable.

  • Andre Pallett
    2018-11-20 03:02

    Very good book overall and an amazing achievement. The writing style is excellent, very detailed although a lot of technical details weren't explained and needed Googling, but this was part of the enjoyment of the book (what is ALE, where are the Thiel Mountains, Leverett Glacier, Hercules Inlet, Mt Wilson nanatak etc). Certainly fascinating for anyone with an interest in the planets extreme regions and the science behind enduring incredible hardships unassisted. The only issue for me is the fact that she cries so much!I mean she really really cries a lot - basically all the time. Something good happens, she cries, she's scared, she cries, she's excited, she cries, she's lonely, she cries, she's lost, she cries, tired, she cries...Every chapter has about 11 references to her breaking down in tears - basically because she absolutely doesn't at all like being alone, cold, in the wilderness of Antarctica...and yet she deliberately contrived, at great difficulty and personal/emotional expense to engineer a situation in which she would be very much alone, for over two months, in Antarctica because that's about how long it takes to ski solo across the continent using the route she chose. All this aside, a remarkable achievement and very good read!

  • Linda
    2018-11-20 02:25

    Felicity Aston MBE climbed out of her tent every day to ski into the vast whiteness of the Antarctic and became the first woman in the world to have crossed Antarctica alone and the first person to do so using just muscle power in 2012. On the day I started reading this book in 2016, the explorer Henry Worsley died in his attempt to do the same thing which illustrates just how dangerous this endeavour can be. Before leaving the UK, Aston was helped by a sports psychologist who specialised in solitude and psychological resilience which really seemed to stand her in good stead during a journey where she was 100% responsible for her own physical and mental state and where the solitude resulted in auditory hallucinations (which I remember Sara Maitland also experienced during Scottish solitude in 'A Book of Silence'). I was very interested to read that at times days would pass by without conscious thought - and I wonder if she was in a state of meditation? Aston states that she thinks she has an innate sense of adventure and dreamed many times of attempting to cross Antarctica on her own. An amazing achievement then, and it is nice to be told at the end of the book that we are all infinitely braver and more resilient then we imagine.

  • Paul
    2018-12-13 09:26

    Felicity Aston is one tough lady. In this expedition she undertook another Antarctic challenge, going solo across the entire continent, a feat that had only been completed by two other men previously. Antarctica is one of the driest, harshest and most unforgiving of places on this planet, and any lapse or mishap will be fatal.On this trip she used all her polar experience and discipline. What she prepared for, but found the hardest was the mental effort. Several time she is at the point of no return, because of loneliness, fear and despair, but in the end she managed to be mentally strong enough to claw her way back.I though that the writing was a lot better than her previous book, you felt the rawness of her emotions, both positive and negative. The descriptions of the polar landscape were captivating too. It is a place that you think wouldn't change, but it can change in an hour because of the storms and the storms and the unique weather system there. Brilliant book, can highly recommend it.

  • Becky
    2018-11-20 06:23

    There was something in this book that did not capture my interest for long. I found this book a little dull and easy to put down. I often found myself putting the book down to look something up online about Antarctica that she was talking about. I thought there would be more adventure and maybe a little drama in this book but there really wasn't much which is a good thing for Aston! I admire her for being able to go off alone and take on such a difficult task. She honestly shared her struggles and emotions throughout the journey. I do wish that she would have included map of where she went and the landforms that she was talking about.

  • Debbie
    2018-12-06 09:18

    This started out so badly for me. I just wasn't warming up to the author or her writing or the description of this trek. Not exactly sure when it turned around for me but I ended up really enjoying it. There were so many great observations of life and relationships and "alone-ness". Really makes you think about being on this planet with others and how important those connections are. And what an accomplishment! Amazing, to imagine skiing ALONE across a whole continent - especially one as barren and lifeless as Antarctica! If you enjoyed Wild (by Cheryl Strayed) you should try this. (Felicity is a lot easier to like!)

  • Lorenz Risk
    2018-12-17 02:05

    Great reading, accounting not only for outer progresses, but even for inner feelings.As I understood, some people did not like the descriptions or her own emotions, but for me it was very valuable to read about other peoples inner experiences in a honest way. Too often stories of adventures deal only with accomplisments and successes and leave out aloneness, angst, temporary desperation.I'm a lot out in the wilderness myself (on much more humble tours than Aston) and it feels good to see my own emotional reactions mirrored in her experiences.

  • Princess Hannah
    2018-12-08 03:15

    Not my usual read but something told me to read this when I spotted it on display at my local library.I am not disappointed! What an amazing feat Felicity completed and the book was a fascinating read detailing her journey. I particularly respect Felicity's honesty and at no time did I feel she was boasting about her achievements (despite being well within her rights too!!).The book was easy to read and I learnt a lot about the logistics and meticulous planning of Felicity's journey as well as her emotional and physical challenges!

  • Kathleen
    2018-12-06 04:19

    Epic journey, beautifully written... tl;dr one of the messages is how making a little bit of progress every day ("just get out of the tent") adds up (crossing an entire continent). Also, befriending the sun.I read her previous book about putting together an international team of women to ski to the south pole, and she alluded to that journey several times throughout the book, and it felt good to have that backstory and already know some of this woman's history and source of motivation.

  • Kmacey
    2018-12-11 04:28

    Felicity Ashton made an astonishing journey across the continent of Antarctica alone. It meant to be in an extremely hostile environment where, at times, there are no horizons or daylight or objects to focus on day after day. Not only did she have to deal with the danger, the extreme cold, and isolation, she had to deal with the most difficult challenge, aloneness. What an inspiring story and what a surprisingly good author! I highly recommend reading this book!

  • Carol Wakefield
    2018-11-20 03:27

    An impressive achievement but disappointing record of it. No map?? Much of her writing refers to her interior journey. Much of that with coping with her fears and loneliness. I was more interested in her descriptions of the physical efforts and pictures of the surroundings. And more on how she managed the technology she carried would have been appropriate. Soso adventure tale of amazing adventure.

  • Emily Bragg
    2018-12-09 02:18

    Interesting, though towards the end of the book when she worries if what she is doing is a 'stunt', I laughed that it could be considered anything but. A personal adventure, a personal challenge, yes, but absolutely a stunt. Quick read, with a mix of personal reflections on solitude with Antarctic challenges. Read in Antarctica.

  • Mackensie Colleen
    2018-12-06 10:22

    Well, I would have liked it a lot better if the jacket hadn't compared it to Wild right off the bat. It's definitely nowhere as good as Wild, but I did manage to finish it in about 4 hours on a flight home. It's a good read if you like travel/adventure/hippy self enlightenment writing, and it's quick.

  • Richard
    2018-12-17 06:06

    Read as week day night time book one chapter at a time. Not really a book I'd select but one Michelle chose. An enjoyable read which gets across the scale and loneliness involved in the challenge. An uplifting book with its 'get out of the tent' approach applicable to life in general.

  • Dayton Will
    2018-11-20 05:04

    InspiringAs an experienced backcountry traveler and aspiring polar explorer, Ms Aston's book is both informative and inspiring. A great perspective on the mental challenges of long-distance solo expeditions.

  • Colin Slider
    2018-12-06 07:10

    a remarkable achievement in crossing antarctica alone - the book focuses more on the mental aspects of the journey though there are plenty of episodes which reflect the harsh physical realities of the crossing. well worth reading

  • Micki Myers
    2018-12-17 03:00

    This book is a dynamic and unique account of the challenges - physical and mental - faced by the first woman in history to ski alone across Antarctica. Here's my review:

  • William Graney
    2018-11-18 03:15

    4.5The author was the first woman to cross Antarctica on skis and I enjoyed reading about the physical & environmental challenges as well as the human interest and philosophical aspects of her journey.