Part of the team as they ski past a huge iceberg frozen into the sea ice

The Team

Coming together from around the globe this team of like-minded women is mindful of the fact that they may be some of the last people ever to be able to stand at the North Pole on frozen ocean.

It is this terrible likelihood that inspires and unites them. The sound of the ice cracking and moving below the tent at night is only one of the frightening experiences they will face. The team will each spend a few hours every night in camp on polar bear watch gazing up at the northern lights. This will be one of the most memorable experiences, a privilege to be in such an austere and beautiful place.

The B.I.G team will draw on their united effort to haul their pulks which will weigh upwards of 85kgs by the end of the expedition over the dynamic ice of the frozen ocean.  Navigating around open water and manoeuvring through the pressure ridges they will burn up to 8,000 calories a day. Teamwork will be everything if they are to be successful.

Felicity on a training expedition

Felicity Aston MBE

Felicity is an experienced Polar Explorer, author and public speaker, who has led record setting expeditions to both the North and South Poles.

In 2012 she became the first woman to ski across Antarctica alone, a 1744km journey that took her 59 days and earned her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. In 2015 she was appointed MBE for services to polar exploration and was awarded the Polar Medal.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London and The Explorers Club in New York.

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Shadi Ganjavian-Connor

Shadi is a philanthropist, adventurer and public speaker with an extraordinary talent for inspiring others, fuelled quite simply, by her sole desire to help the world.

Shadi is co-founder of a community interest company SHAPE Hampshire which provides Mind, Body and Education support to Hampshire Schools and is also founder of Team GC, leading expeditions and challenge experiences which have raised thousands of pounds for charitable causes. Shadi has a passion for education and loves working with children and runs a series of inspirational talks to schools, communities and businesses.

Shadi is a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society.

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Sadie Whitelocks

Sadie is an adventure travel writer and photographer who has been based in London and New York and is currently on the map somewhere.

Her storytelling exploits have led her to do everything from polar plunges on both sides of the globe, to completing the World’s Toughest Mudder: a 24-hour race in Las Vegas and attending the world’s highest dinner party on the North Col of Mount Everest at 7050m.

Published in titles including The Daily Mail, The Independent, Culture Trip, Adventure Travel Magazine, The Daily Telegraph and Evening Standard. 

Sadie is a member of The Explorers Club and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

I feel privileged, excited and completely lucky to be part of something so meaningful with a remarkably capable and inspiring group of like-minded women.

I have tried to get there (The North Pole) as part of a commercial guided group for the last two years without success and I have admired and followed Felicity for several years. When I saw Felicity’s Facebook invitation to apply there was not a nano-second of hesitation before I was heard to shout – yes, Yes, YES!  Pick me, pick me!

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Annabel Jackson Prow

Bel works with her Sister to run her family company, providing insurance and financial advice.

After recognising the challenges that families can have working together she set up a not for profit initiative to support and promote family businesses in the UK; this has raised over £350,000 for charities that support young people. 

When not working, Annabel can usually be found being active and having adventures, and has a particular interest in human powered journeys in natural and remote environments, be it cycling over mountain ranges, summiting 4000m peaks, running the long distance paths of Europe or swimming the length of UK lakes.

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Andrea Fawell

Andrea is a sales and marketing director for a house building company, an industry she has been in for 35 years.

Although she loves her job and her family she is at a stage in her life where she has the capacity to focus on her lifelong ambitions and prove to the working woman that it is never too late to achieve your dreams.

Andrea has Arctic experience by completing the Yukon Ultra Arctic Race in 2019 and was due to ski to the North Pole in 2020 before the Covid-19 lockdown. She is registered for the 300 miles Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra Race in February 2022.  Andrea is never happier than when she is going a very long way for a very long time under her own steam. To be combining her childhood ambition to go to the North Pole with this vital climate research is a dream come true.

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Emma Ranger

Emma is based in Bermuda and when not exploring the reef and coastline there works in reinsurance.

Emma is passionate about the outdoors, and is a very keen skier, ski tourer and mountaineer, having climbed Mont Blanc along with other peaks in the Alps. 

Working in an industry focused on natural catastrophe risk Emma is aware of the impact of climate change on these events, the consequences these have on the world and why expeditions like B.I.G North Pole 2022 are crucial for improving our understanding of the influence human emissions have on our natural world.

As we get closer to the actual expedition, it is becoming a combination of daunting and exciting.

The opportunity to take part is a privilege but the challenging aspect of spending up to 3 weeks in extreme conditions is obviously something which prompts a lot of different emotions; from exhilaration to fear.

SHADI GANJAVIAN-CONNOR, TEAM MEMBER