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An Interview with...Ann Daniels

In hot anticipation of her Going Beyond talk in March, we caught up with pioneering, record breaking, female adventurer Ann Daniels to give us a sneaky preview into some of the things she'll be chatting about.

Ann Daniels is a world record holder and described by The Daily Telegraph as one of the top 20 Great British Adventurers of all times.  As the first woman to reach the North and South Poles as part of all woman teams and the only leader of all 3 Catlin Arctic surveys she is living proof that good leadership, teamwork and a positive mental attitude does make a difference to the success of a team.  She believes that challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is the key to success.

This is what she had to say:

1. What are your top 3 places in the world?

The Arctic Ocean, Antarctica and the Scottish Highlands

2. Where’s the weirdest place you’ve slept?

The weirdest is the boot of a car by a forest in the pouring rain (makes one hell of a noise on the metal) but the most unusual is a moving cracking piece of ice on a frozen Ocean.

3. What’s the one thing you don’t go on an adventure without?

A positive mindset.

4. Do you have any good advice for our young people or volunteers going on their first camp?

Plan carefully beforehand, take advice and make sure you have all the kit you need - but remember you have to carry everything so don’t pack what you don’t need.

Remember to enjoy it all, especially the challenging bits as the difficulties you manage to get through are the memories you remember most and are the most precious.

Remember you chose to be there so you owe it to yourself and everyone else in the team to do the best you can do.

5. Who was your role model growing up?

Living on an estate in a large City I didn’t really know much about the great outdoors growing up and didn’t really have any role models as inspirational figures as we weren’t taught about anyone of significance. My older brothers were pretty much the only people I looked up to and wanted to be like.

6. How did you get into going on adventures – what was your first adventure as a teenager?

I got into going on adventures at the age of 31, shortly after having triplets as I was told about an advert asking for ordinary women to apply for an expedition to the North Pole. As a teenager climbing trees was about as adventurous as I got.

7. What’s your greatest achievement?

Besides 2 world records for Polar expeditions the achievement I am most proud of is leading 4 long, arduous and important scientific expeditions on the Arctic Ocean working with scientists to better understand what is happening to the Oceans of the world.

8. Do you have any advice for how young people can overcome adversity?

Keep a strong and positive mind. Remember why you are doing your adventure, what you will achieve if you keep going and how great it will feel when you overcome the adversity.

To keep going when you find something difficult is the greatest achievement of all.

9. Do you have any funny moments from an expedition that you can share?
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In the year 2000 I was part of a team of five women who became the first British Women’s team to ski to the South Pole. After 60 days crossing Antarctica we arrived at the Pole to a wonderful and welcoming crowd of scientists who worked at the base there. The whole team gathered at the pole for photographs. Zoe one of the team members decided to move an ugly piece of pipe that was sticking out of the ground in the way of the photos. The scientists gasped in horror. Unbeknownst to us that was actually the true South Pole that’s inserted each year as the icecap moves the pipe from the correct geographical point. It had been there the whole season and Zoe had yanked the iconic pole from its spot!

10. What would be your top tip for people who are thinking about going on their first adventure?

Don’t just think about it, find a way to make it happen. Every adventure begins first with an idea, a plan and then action.

11. What is your favourite expedition snack?

Strawberry flavour Clif Shoks. They’re great for energy and as so much expedition food tastes bland in the cold they add a great flavour to your mouth.

12. A question we often end up discussing on camp is…cake or cheese?

Cheese every time.

13. Can you nominate someone inspiring for us to interview next?

I would recommend Mollie Hughes who is the youngest women in the world to summit both the North and South routes up Everest.


Come along to our Going Beyond Talk in Bristol on 13th March to find out more about Ann's adventures or visit her website:



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