Hard‑won Gains

Jade’s team included her father, Paul Hameister; polar guide Eric Philips; cameraman Ming d’Arcy; and assistant cameraman Heath Jamieson.

From the beginning, the setting was brutal. The route started uphill and was hardly ever flat. Jade struggled with her sled up icy slopes.

With the expedition cameraman behind her, Jade slowly made her way across the ice.

She headed into wind so strong and so loud that she had to scream to be heard. Jade felt like she was standing still. Yet, she was pulling with all her might. The steep hills were slick with blue ice. It was hard and slippery, like glass. Jade’s skis couldn’t move smoothly over the ice. When they weren’t skiing, she and the team wore spiked metal plates on the bottoms of their boots to help them walk.

Sastrugi—wave like ridges of ice made the journey more difficult.

Higher and higher they climbed, across the Kansas Glacier. A steep climb took them through the Transantarctic Mountains. The going got even harder as they came upon sastrugi. These are wave‑like ridges of ice formed by the wind. Ahead, the far wall of the glacier looked like a giant wave. At 3,000 meters (9,842 feet) above sea level, they finally reached the Stanford Plateau. But, they still had a long way to go.

Man Down!

The greatest dangers on the route were the crevasses across the landscape. These deep cracks are covered by snow bridges that hide them. Jade and her team knew they had to watch out!

The team carried long ropes. When they suspected there was a crevasse, they roped themselves together, in case somebody fell. One afternoon, Jade heard a wild yell. What was that? She knew the others had gone on ahead. A short distance away, she saw cameraman Ming chest‑deep in a crevasse.

He was hanging onto the edge with his fingers! Ming was able to pull himself up and out ofthe crevasse. Whew!