When Wendy realized that she could not make it to the summit of Everest after her second attempt because of altitude issues and her disease, she knew that she wasn’t up for a pity party. So she did what any mom turned adventurer might do – she was ready for an expedition! The last two frontiers that were discovered on the planet were her mission: The North and South Poles…
The Last Degree Dogsled Expedition to the North Pole
A dogsled & ski expedition to the North Pole brings to mind names like Peary, Henson and Cook. Imagine dog teams maneuvering over tall pressure ridges, or crossing freshly frozen leads accompanied by their human teammates on cross-country skis. Wendy headed for the frozen north in April of 2011 to tackle this adventure to the top of the world with her dog team. On Easter Sunday (and the day before her birthday!), April 23rd, Wendy Booker became the first person with MS to reach the North Pole. View that historical moment in the video above.
Skiing the Last Degree to the South Pole
Antarctica is the coldest, highest and driest of the seven continents. The South Polar region offers an incomparable experience. Unlike skiing the pack ice that surrounds the North Pole, a journey to the South Pole is on firm ground so-to-speak (it’s actually 2 mile thick ice), with no pressure ridges or open water leads.
Yet Antarctica held challenges of her own for Wendy, namely relentless prevailing winds that consistently blew in her face. Temperatures were 40 to 50 below zero (at 10,000 feet altitude) on the frozen polar ice cap as she skied towards the South Pole. Still, this journey across the Polar plateau was worth every drop of sweat and wind burn.
Wendy had planned this specific date. She wanted her arrival on the South Pole to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the pole by Roald Amundsen on Dec. 14, 1911 and the fateful mission of Robert Falcon Scott who reached the pole on Jan. 15, 1912. Wendy’s mission paid homage to the great polar explorers who came before and her personal hero, Sir Ernest Shackleton. Wendy reached the South Pole on January 14, 2012.