Nakita Ross, Georgina (George) Gilbert, Alison Kibblwhite, Rebecca Rowe and Nikki Upton are the Antarctic Fire Angels, and in November 2023 they will attempt to set a world record as the first all-female emergency services team to ski 1,900km across Antarctica in approximately 70 days, enduring temperatures of -50 degrees centigrade and wind speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. Would you swap the occupational comfort of a warming blaze for such conditions? To be honest, neither environment sits comfortably in my mind, but the sheer scale of such a challenge, and the mental and physical preparations required to achieve such a thing, prompted me to investigate further.
At the end of April, I had the pleasure of meeting (virtually) four of the five Angels for a chat about hopes, fears, inspiration and the sponsorship needed to aid their self-funded mission. But before I delve into the meanderings of our conversation, it is important to understand the origins of the expedition.