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Training hots up for Ice Maidens in Norway

07 December 2016

In preparation for Exercise ICE MAIDEN in October 2017, the all-female team of Regular and Reserve soldiers have been in Norway undertaking training to prepare them for the harsh environment of Antarctica.

The British Army Team will attempt to cross the Antarctic landmass under its own steam while conducting medical and psychological research on women undergoing endurance in extreme conditions. The team will walk 1700km in temperatures down to -80C and wind speeds of over 60mph.

Gruelling training regimes see all the women dragging tractor tyres through the streets of Britain at every opportunity. But they have to be at the top of their game; the arduous selection process has led to a creation of a team of just seven individuals.



Digging snow holes, putting up tents in the dark in icy winds, and coping with temperatures of minus 20C are just some of the challenges. The women had to ski pulling their bodyweight in supplies on sledges or “pulks” behind them; they have learned to pull themselves out of arctic water, and crevasse rescue skills.

They are a strong cohesive team who have made friends for life along this journey. Despite some injuries, they are fitter, more confident, and better soldiers following their experience thus far.

Exercise ICE DIAMOND will be the final training exercise of duration of no less than 14 days in a remote location in Norway to bring together and validate all the skills the team has learned.

Ex ICE MAIDEN will see the final members of the team fly to Punta Arenas in Chile October 2017. The route across the Antarctic Land Mass will be from the Leverett Glacier to the South Pole to Hercules Inlet, which will take until February the following year.

Private Rin Cobb (Reservist) rescues fellow reserve officer Major Sandy Hennis during crevasse training

Pictured: Private Rin Cobb (Reservist) rescues fellow reserve officer Major Sandy Hennis during crevasse training

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