- Paperback: 253 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books (August 31, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143034243
- ISBN-13: 978-0143034247
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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No Horizon Is So Far: Two Women and Their Historic Journey Across Antarctica Paperback – August 31, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
In February 2001, Bancroft and Arnesen, "total stranger[s]," became the first women to cross Antarctica on foot. The women-Bancroft, 48, of Minnesota, was the first woman to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles; Arnesen, 50, an Oslo resident, was the first woman to ski solo to the South Pole-met in 1998 and set to work finding corporate sponsors and undergoing intensive physical training. International educators and millions of students in 116 countries participated in an online curriculum as the two ex-schoolteachers, inspired by Shackleton and other explorers, began their grueling 2,300-mile journey in mid-November 2000. They walked, skied and ice-sailed through bitter cold (temperatures sank as low as -35 degrees Farenheit) while hauling 250-pound fiberglass sledges filled with food, medications and electronic equipment, including handheld GPS units and a laptop. Along the way, they did regularly scheduled satellite phone interviews with CNN. Their high-tech trek turned into a physical and emotional ordeal as they survived injuries, blizzards, accidents and anxious moments, crossing crevasses to emerge triumphant three months later. Although the triple-track format of three different writers interrupting one another is sometimes jarring, the authors' descriptive details and vivid writing bring the adventure alive. In addition to a lengthy "what they carried" equipment list, the book's finale features interviews with people who were caught up in the expedition or directly involved. Maps, 16-page color insert.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Two middle-aged schoolteachers, an American and a Norwegian, set out in November 2000 to become the first women to travel across Antarctica on foot. Both women had extensive experience traveling on polar ice under very difficult conditions, but this journey was the ultimate test of their endurance. Arnesen and Bancroft relate that as children they both searched unsuccessfully for stories of girls having adventures and overcoming physical dangers. As adults they wanted to share their accomplishments in a way that would encourage others, especially children, to cultivate dreams and strive to attain them. They recruited teachers to develop a curriculum based on their expedition that could be used in art, science, mathematics, and literature classes. Cell phones, cameras, and a laptop computer allowed teachers and students to follow their progress as they dashed across the ice to reach their destination before winter darkness set in. And what an exciting trip it was. They often used skis with sails to glide over the ice. Each woman pulled a sled with up to 80 pounds of food and gear. They were in constant danger from fluky winds, deep crevasses, and temperatures as low as minus 35 degrees. The authors chronicle their daily life with a realistic yet inspiring attitude and reveal many intimate details. Color photos of the women training and of their expedition enhance the text. Teens will be inspired to live out their dreams, thus accomplishing the women's goal in writing this firsthand account.-Penny Stevens, Andover College, Portland, ME
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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One of the most admirable things about this book is how Liv and Ann come across not as cinematic superheroes but as real people, fuming about the sheer politics of just getting to Antarctica, making mistakes, bickering with each other, but still, in the end, sticking together and succeeding.
Liv's explanation (on page 21) of why she does such things is very illuminating, but you know what? After having finished the book, I still don't understand why people undertake such insanely brutal challenges. I can't imagine why anyone would voluntarily spend three months pulling 250-pound sledges across treacherous terrain in subzero temperatures. But that's why I sit at home reading books, instead of crossing Antarctica.
This book would be great for parents to read to their kids!
Do you wonder why? Liv writes that everyone does, and her answer is that "an expedition is a work of art expressed on a canvas of snow, air, and time." She was inspired by Roald Amundsen's conquest of the South Pole, but both women were fascinated by Shackleton's Endurance expediton and the courage with which he gave up his mission to save his crew. Win or lose, they felt, the joy was in the journey.
Both Liv and Ann were former schoolteachers, and a big part of their dream was enlightening and inspiring school children around the world. Their first challenge was to build a support team and secure the huge corporate sponsorship needed to cover the expenses of their expedition. As they got to know each other and trained for the grueling trip, their company, yourexpedition, went on the sponsorship quest; the first part of the book covers the trials and triumphs of this two-year preparation phase. Major sponsorship was won from Volvo, Pfizer, Motorola, Apple Computers, and Continuum Control. During this phase a curriculum was developed and translated into many languages, and plans were made for communicating with school children during the trip. The logistics and expense of this journey were huge.
Liv and Ann took the ice in the Norwegian territory of Queen Maud Land, flying there from Capetown in November 2000. They had roughly 100 days before the Southern winter would close their "window" of traveling weather. With more than 2,000 miles to cover, their plan was to ski-sail across the continent to the Ross Ice Shelf; they were dependent on the wind, the weather, their equipment, and the state of the ice surface. They used satellite phones to communicate with their team and with some of the three million school children who followed their journey using the "Dare to Dream" curriculum.
No Horizon Is So Far: Two Women And Their Extraordinary Journey Across Antarctica details the hardships that arose during the grueling trip. Injuries and equipment failure inevitably occurred in the intense cold and high altitude, but their greatest hardship was the erratic nature of the wind. Dragging heavy sleds and skiing behind sails in gusty wind is dangerous and difficult, but many days they had no wind and had to pull with crampons on their skis -- always in danger of falling into one of the many crevasses that thread through the ice.
Did Ann and Liv's mission succeed? Did they make it across the frozen beauty of Antarctica before winter closed their bolt-hole? It would be a spoiler to reveal the answer to these questions, but every reader will be touched by the magic generated among the children who shared their journey with them. This is a thoughtful and inspiring story of a mission that most of us would never dream of; but we all want to make a difference in the world and I thoroughly enjoyed Ann and Liv's story of their chosen journey. I've taken one star off because I thought the book might have been organized differently, with the expedition infrastructure spread throughout rather than concentrated in the first section. However the drama of the continent crossing more than made up for that organizational issue. Highly recommended.
Linda Bulger, 2008