Antarctica has so much mystery and is the pinnacle of exploration.
Isobel Ewing - Journalist at Newshub
When we were about 12 hours out from Antarctica I was on the bow of the ship by myself and caught the first glimpse of the mountains. They looked like huge hunks of ice poking out of the cloud across the ocean. I imagined what that sight must have been like for the first explorers. That was a pretty rapturous feeling. I also found it magical to step onto the continent for the first time and start climbing Mt Scott.
Standing on top of Mt Scott…
I was overwhelmed. I'd summited my first mountain in the last great wilderness on Earth, and yet there wasn't a breath of wind and the sun was shining. It was such a tranquil moment in an incredibly harsh place. I think it was pretty emotional for everyone, the culmination of all that apprehension about whether we’d be able to do it. I managed to grab the satellite phone and do a live cross back to the Your Sunday show on Radio Live, which was totally surreal and a huge career highlight.
How resilient I am. I used to be terrified of heights and mountaineering made me nervous because of the technical side. To have overcome that initial terror on the first morning and made it to the top of the mountain makes me feel proud.
Compared to the early polar explorers…
We were lucky! I’d read books and seen photos of the early explorers but have a new appreciation of what it must have been like for them in such an inhospitable environment with wooden ships, no showers and no way of communicating with people back home. After this trip I now understand why Antarctica has fuelled so much writing and art over the years, and why people are fascinated by it.
View the full photo gallery.