Dr. Regina Henkel
Author:
Dr. Regina Henkel

In Record Time Alone to the South Pole

"Not Bad for a Girl": Extreme Sportswoman Anja Blacha Reaches the South Pole in Record Time

Under the provocative campaign title "Not bad for a Girl" the German extreme sportswoman Anja Blacha succeeds in doing what many people obviously did not think she could do: After 57 days, 18 hours, 50 minutes and 1,400 kilometers on skis she reached the South Pole on 9 January.

Anja Blacha erreichte als erster Mensch alleine und ohne fremde Unterstützung nach 57 Tagen auf Skiern den Südpol.
Anja Blacha erreichte als erster Mensch alleine und ohne fremde Unterstützung nach 57 Tagen auf Skiern den Südpol

Great Performance - Not Only for a Woman

In 60 days the 29-year-old from Bielefeld wanted to reach the South Pole 'solo, unassisted & unsupported'. Now it took her even fewer days. When she finally arrived at the geographic South Pole at 14:50 on 9 January, the 57th day of her expedition, and stuck her flag into the ice, it read: "Not bad for a Girl - Almost Impossible for Everyone Else". Anja Blacha is not only the first woman who was able to master this distance alone and completely without outside support on skis. She is the first person to have succeeded in this venture.

Women as a target group are also a topic at ISPO Munich 2020. On Monday, 27 January, the theme evening with keynote speaker Oona Horx-Strathern on the role of women and current megatrends starts at 6.30 p.m. Click here to register.

More information about the programme at ISPO Munich 2020 in the event calendar.

Action against Prejudices

It is important for Blacha to emphasize this. The campaign is intended to prove that people are capable of top sporting performance and can achieve something that no one else has ever achieved before. Whether man or woman. She wants to motivate women to overcome obstacles and doubts. It is not only the attention-grabbing campaign title that ensures that the message is heard, but also the Intersport Association that supports the campaign with media. "I myself have often come across stereotypical views regarding my performance", says Anja Blacha, "so I am pleased to be able to draw attention to this together with Intersport and to give everyone the message: don't let it affect you!

Delayed Start and Difficult Conditions

The Trip to the South Pole began anything but easy. Arriving in Punta Arenas in Chile, Blacha had to wait for her sled and better weather conditions before she could be brought over Union Glacier in Antarctica to her starting point on Berkner Island. Finally started, the bad weather soon returned and brought gusts of wind of up to 100 kilometers per hour, temperatures of minus 35° Celsius and continuous whiteouts. Blacha had to stay in her tent for a whole day. After 20 days she had nevertheless made a third of the way with her sled.

First Contact with the Family at Christmas

This was followed by the most demanding section over the Dufek massif with many crevasses. On the 40th day, she had already covered more than 900 kilometers, which roughly corresponded to the distance of the Messner route to the South Pole. At Christmas, she had her first private conversation with her family. In the last part of the expedition, things went steadily uphill, as the South Pole lies about 2,800 meters above sea level on the continent's ice shield. On day 57 she finally reached the South Pole - in the middle of nowhere, but easily recognizable by the flags of previous expeditions.

Blacha holds numerous mountaineering records

This is not the first time Anja Blacha has caused a stir with her sporting achievements: She was the youngest German woman to climb Mount Everest and is the youngest female German to conquer the Seven Summits. She was also the first German woman to climb the summit of K2 without bottled oxygen.

Dr. Regina Henkel
Author:
Dr. Regina Henkel
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