Hard‑won Gains

There were five people on Jade’s team. Her father, Paul, was on the team. Paul is an explorer, too. Eric Philips was their guide.

The route started uphill. Jade struggled to move her sled. The wind was so strong and so loud that she had to scream to be heard. She felt like she was standing still. Yet, Jade was pulling with all her might.

The ground was slippery. When they weren’t skiing, Jade and her team wore spikes on the bottoms of their boots. The spikes dug into the ice.

With a teammate behind her, Jade slowly made her way across the ice.

They climbed higher. They moved through the mountains. They found ridges of ice, like frozen waves. These had been formed by wind. Crossing them seemed impossible.

Waves of ice were hard to cross.

At last, they reached the highest point in their climb. Jade knew no one had been there before. Yet, the South Pole was still far away.

Man Down!

The greatest dangers for Jade’s team were deep cracks buried by snow. The team carried ropes. At times, they roped themselves together in case somebody fell into one of those cracks.

One day, Jade heard a yell. What was that? A team member had fallen into a crack! He was hanging onto the edge with his fingers. Jade and the team came running. Luckily, he was able to pull himself up.