Meet Lance Sergeant Sophie Montagne: Army Reservist and Ice Maiden. Sophie, a marketing manager from London joined the HAC in 2011. She joined the Army Reserve because she wanted a physical challenge to offset her desk job and wanted to make a contribution to wider society. Sophie was selected from over 250 applicants to become an Ice Maiden – the first ever all-female attempt to cross Antarctica unsupported.
After months of gruelling training and preparation, the expedition began on the Ross Ice Shelf on 20 November 2017. It took the Ice Maidens 61 days of travelling up to 27 miles a day, pulling sledges weighing up to 80kg to successfully reach their goal – the Hercules Inlet - on 20 January 2018.
The Ice Maiden team covered 1,700km using muscle-power alone, battling temperatures of -50°C and wind speeds of over 60mph during their three-month journey. Unsupported, and with only two resupply points along the route, they carried all the supplies and equipment they needed to survive for up to 600km at a time.
Now Sophie is an inspiration to others. Giving a talk to The Girls Network, a social mobility charity that empowers and supports young women from disadvantaged backgrounds to realise their full potential, Sophie said, “We want to show that with a bit of self-belief, determination and 100% commitment you can achieve something extraordinary. You don’t need experience to attempt something like this, you just need to put the steps in place to learn and push your limits. You’re capable of far more than you think!”
The evening was arranged by Trowers & Hamlins LLP as part of the firm's diversity and inclusion initiative, TrowersIncludes, and took place at their offices in Bunhill Row in the City. Katharine Lewis, Partner, Banking and Finance at Trowers and Hamlin LLP said, “We wanted to use this opportunity to inspire both our staff and the members of The Girls Network to show them that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.”