Caroline Mikkelsen

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Caroline Mikkelsen raising the flag of Norway at a cairn on the Ingrid Christensen Coast of Antarctica.

Caroline Mikkelsen (1906 – late 1990s), was the first woman to set foot on Antarctica. She was born in Denmark.[1] In the winter of 1934-1935, she accompanied her Norwegian husband,[2] Captain Klarius Mikkelsen, on an expedition sponsored by Lars Christensen. On 20 February 1935, the expedition made landfall at the Vestfold Hills[3] near the present Davis Station.[1] Mikkelsen left the ship and participated in building a memorial cairn.[4]

Mount Caroline Mikkelsen is named for her.[5]

Historical doubt[edit]

In 1997, three Australian researchers published a historical article casting doubt on claims that the Christensen-sponsored expedition—and thus Mikkelsen—landed on the Antarctic mainland (rather than on an island).[6]


  1. ^ a b "Women in Antarctica: Sharing this Life-Changing Experience", transcript of speech by Robin Burns, given at the 4th Annual Phillip Law Lecture; Hobart, Tasmania, Australia; 18 June 2005. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  2. ^ "Famous firsts Long list of accomplishments by women in Antarctica". The Antarctic Sun. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 2012-0-03.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ Dean, Cornelia (10 November 1998). "After a Struggle, Women Win A Place 'on the Ice'; In Labs and in the Field, a New Outlook". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  4. ^ ANNEX B MEASURES Measure I (1996) -- Revised Description and Management Plan for Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), by the Antarctic Treaty System; archived at the University of Canterbury; published 1996; retrieved 20 April 2014
  5. ^ "Antarctic Gazetteer". Antarctic Gazetteer. Australian Antarctic Data Centre. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  6. ^ Klarius Mikkelsen's 1935 landing in the Vestfold Hills, East Antarctica: some fiction and some facts , in the Polar Record, Volume 34 / Issue 191 / October 1998, pp 293-304, from Cambridge University Press