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Call of the White: Taking the World to the South Pole Paperback – 7 Mar 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale; 1 edition (7 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184953134X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849531344
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 144,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Felicity Aston is the first and only woman in the world to ski alone across Antarctica. The 35-year-old British expedition leader, public speaker and freelance travel writer from Kent also led the 2009 Commonwealth Expedition to the South Pole, the first British women's team across Greenland, and completed the infamous Marathon Des Sables across the Sahara. She previously worked as a meteorologist in the Antarctic for three years as well as completing expeditions in Siberia, Quebec, Iceland and the Canadian Arctic. www.felicityaston.com

Product Description

Review

'… author Felicity Aston describes how she led an expedition of "ordinary women" from all over the world - including some who had never seen snow - on one of the world's toughest journeys, skiing to the South Pole. The results: frostbite, injuries, hardships - and also newfound persistence, strength, and friendship.'

(Publishers Weekly (USA))

About the Author

Felicity Aston has spent over a decade travelling, working and living all over the Polar Regions. In 2009 she led the most international team of women ever to ski to the South Pole; this became the subject of her first book, Call of the White, a finalist in the Banff Mountain Book Competition in 2011. Outside Magazine, the leading adventure-travel magazine in the US, named her one of their 2012 Adventurers of the Year.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Half Man, Half Book on 14 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
Aston has a vision to take a small team of women from Commonwealth countries around the world on an Antarctic expedition, and after being promised support from The Winston Churchill Support Trust sets about selecting members.

She posts advert for candidates and goes to Ghana, India, Cyprus, Jamaica, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei and New Zealand. Having whittled down around 800 applicants to 15 for a weeks training and selection in Norway. For some of the ladies this was a baptism by ice as they had never seen snow or experienced cold weather. She describes the emotion dilemma of selecting the final team, and telling those who would not be going.

With her team selected, she has the stress of trying to manage the team , the fundraising and the logistics of getting all to New Zealand for further training. She drops the New Zealand Candidate, after this as she feels that she wold be battling her throughout the expedition.

And so to the frozen continent. She finally makes it with her team, and they have several days acclimatising to the harsh environment. One member has t drop out, and following approval from the authorities they set off. The journey to the pole is mostly straightforward, there is the odd mishap, and flared temper, but these women are here for a purpose, and there are determined to make it.

It is a heartwarming book, Antarctica is harsh unforgiving environment, that the smallest of errors can be fatal, or cause serious injury. These women from diverse backgrounds became the first from some nations ever to get to the South Pole, and the first to ski there as well. Aston says at the end, if anyone says that you can't do something, remember this moment and know that you can.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard H on 27 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A remarkable book by a remarkable woman. I've heard Felicity lecture a couple of times and her talks are always enthralling. This is one of those occasions when the book is even better that the talks. What she undertook even to get the expidition together, choosing the participants, obtaining the sponsorship, is an incredible achievment in itself and well beyond the abilitiy and determination of most people. To then successfully lead the expedition of novices across Antarctica is a testimony to her personal skills, her ability, detiermination, motivation and pastoral care. It's a gripping read throughout.
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Format: Paperback
Call of the White: Taking the World to the South Pole, is Felicity Aston's account of her project to create a team of women from eight different Commonwealth countries, with no polar experience, and get them all to ski to the South Pole.

This included taking women from places like Jamaica, Brunei and Ghana - not countries typically associated with cold weather exploits - to Antarctica after only two short training expeditions in Norway and New Zealand. The culminating expedition was only the final step along a bumpy road which included trying to gather applications from far flung countries by giving interviews on local radio stations, obtaining visas and blessings from high commissions and embassies, and generally trying to coordinate a huge project across seven time zones using email and Skype.

I was particularly keen to read this book, firstly because I knew some of the participants - apart from Felicity, who I'd met a few times through BSES, Helen Turton, who represented the UK, is a friend of mine, and various other familiar names crop up throughout the book, Guy Risdon doing the first aid, and Steve Jones sorting their Antarctic Logistics. I was also drafted in to work as the UK Support for their expedition so had an added interest in hearing how it all went.

One of the things that struck me was just how they went through on the ice that never made it back to me. I was the one that took their phone calls and uploaded their blogs and podcasts to the website every day but most of the stories were still news to me. A testament to the professionalism and collective brave face of the team.

In fact, Aston's professional approach and leadership shine through throughout the book.
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By xris on 4 April 2011
Format: Paperback
Felicity has written a moving and often humorous account of her epic journey to the South Pole with a team of indomitable women from several Commonwealth countries. Her descriptions her of their trials and tribultaions during their gruelling journey are very moving.

The lessons for aspiring expedition members and for experienced leaders are there for all to learn. Anyone who has ever taken a team out into the wilderness will recognise the stressful moments when leadership, patience and humility are tested to breaking point and will sympathise with the tolerant and understanding way the very best was coaxed out of everyone in the team. I walked every mile with those wonderful women and rejoiced, as they did, when beyond all their expectations they succeeded in completing their long march.

This is a pacy and uplifting read and one that should sit on the bookshelf of anyone who dares to take an expedition into the wilderness. The heroines are vigorous and vital women but the book is not about feminism. It is all about testing oneself to the limit and yet keeping ones eyes open to the wonders of the world in areas far beyond the normal scope of human experience.

I now want to know more about Era, Helen, Sophia, Reena, Kylie and Steph and how they have settled back into their everday lives. I want to know what further adventures they have planned and I want to hear more about other similar opportunities for Comonwealth citizens.

Thank you Felicity for such an enjoyable and uplifting read.
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