Mother begins polar bid

A mother of triplets was today flying to the Arctic as part of a three-woman expedition bidding to set a Polar-trekking record which her children will follow each step of the way on the internet.

A mother of triplets was today flying to the Arctic as part of a three-woman expedition bidding to set a Polar-trekking record - which her children will follow each step of the way on the internet.

Single mother Ann Daniels put together the M&G Investments-backed expedition which aims to become the first all-woman team to walk all the way to both Poles.

The 37-year-old’s youngsters, seven-year-olds Lucy, Rachel and Joseph, will be logging on to the expedition website - www.polarteam2002.com (not yet active) - to pick up the latest news about the 60-day ice-marathon.

While she braves temperatures as low as minus 40C, Ann’s children will be looked after at their home in Whimple, Devon, by her parents.

With Ann on the estimated 500-mile trek will be fellow Polar veterans Caroline Hamilton, 35, from central London, and 50-year-old Pom Oliver, from Uckfield, Sussex.

Before leaving, Ann said the expedition would require luck as well as skill and would be a ‘‘huge achievement.’’

Caroline said they had all been training hard and were ‘‘completely confident’’ of succeeding.

The women, who have already reached the South Pole, will each pull sledges packed with 250lb of food and equipment across the constantly moving ice-pack.

They were due to fly out today from London Heathrow to Resolute Bay in northern Canada to make final preparations for the start of the trek from Ward Hunt Island on March 10.

The expedition patron is the Prince of Wales, who personally wished them ‘‘bon voyage’’ when they visited him a few days ago.

The three women have been part of two other successful all-women expeditions to the North and South Poles.

They were members of a five-woman M&G backed expedition which reached the South Pole in January, 2000 - covering 600 miles in 61 days.

In 1997 they were in a 20-strong all-woman expedition which reached the North Pole in relays - a 600-mile marathon which was a first for an all-woman team.

Caroline and Pom were on the last leg of the relay which reached the North Pole, and Ann - who was on the first leg - cheated death when she fell through the pack ice into freezing water 12 days after setting out.

But she also set foot on the North Pole when last year, as Britain’s first female Polar guide, she led eight men the last degree to the top of the world.

The new expedition will be the first time the three women have attempted to battle the whole way to the North Pole together.

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