These Things I Know
ONE - Malt loaf is the food of kings. It's a great energy food, really lightweight and edible even when frozen. Fantastic.
TWO - There is no easy way to go to the loo at -20°C.
THREE - A tent full of women smells just as bad as a tent full of men after six weeks on the ice.
FOUR - Whatever it is, it will happen if you persevere. It might not happen exactly the way you'd planned, but with a bit of lateral thinking and huge dollops of enthusiasm, you really can make dreams a reality.
FIVE - A polar bear always strikes with its left front paw first.
SIX - I lost half a stone during the last expedition, but haven't stopped eating since we got back... that was two weeks ago.
SEVEN - I have a mild phobia of spiders and am really not keen on most creepy crawlies. So the insect-less polar environment is like heaven to me.
EIGHT - Men are incredible gossips. It took three years of living on an Antarctic station with 18 of them to find that one out.
NINE - The Arctic isn't just white and blue, it is full of colour.
TEN - When learning to kite-ski put your skis on before launching, take a strong friend with you to hold you down, and never try to launch in 30 knots out of sheer desperation for good wind.
ELEVEN - There is an evil sprite in my kite bag that messes up my lines, no matter how carefully I wind them.
TWELVE - 'Life is not a dress rehearsal.' OK, I pinched that one from Michael Caine. He's not a conventional prophet of wisdom, but in this case I think he was absolutely right.
THIRTEEN - Penguins live in the Antarctic and polar bears live in the Arctic. A lot of people get that wrong.
FOURTEEN - The best thing about coming home from the Arctic was not having to sleep with a pair of frozen boots, various items of damp clothing, satellite phone batteries, lighters and several water bottles.
FIFTEEN - I have a fantastic team, which is a really rare and precious thing. We make each other laugh and pull together even when tired, hungry and under pressure.
Felicity Aston, 28, led three other women to become the first all-female British team to cross the Greenland Icesheet. Known as the Arctic Foxes, they took sixteen days to walk the 650km on skis, pulling sledges carrying almost their own body weight in equipment and supplies from Kangerlussuaq on the west coast, to Ammasilik on the east. On the way back, they aimed to use kites to try and break the world speed record for the crossing, which was set last year by a team of kiteskiers at six days and 23 hours. Unfortunately, there was far less wind than anticipated, and much of the return crossing consisted of wading through slushy snow, on foot. The Foxes set off from the east coast on April 30, and arrived back on the east coast on June 4, after covering just under 1100km.The girls are visiting secondary schools, hoping to encourage more people to getinto kiting. Felicity is an adventure and travel writer
Find out more at: www.arcticfoxes.co.uk
This feature is in Issue 22.