Felicity Aston

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Felicity Aston
Felicity Aston portrait.JPG
Born7 October 1977[1]
AwardsMBE (2015)
Polar medal (2015)

Felicity Ann Dawn Aston MBE (born 1977) is an English explorer and former climate scientist.

Early life and career[edit]

Originally from Birchington-on-Sea, Kent,[2] Aston went to Tonbridge Grammar School for Girls and was educated at University College London (BSc) and Reading University (MSc in applied meteorology).[3]

Between 2000 and 2003 Felicity Aston was the senior meteorologist at Rothera Research Station located on Adelaide Island off the Antarctic Peninsula operated by the British Antarctic Survey, monitoring climate and ozone. As was usual at the time for British Antarctic Survey staff, she spent three summers and two winters continuously at the station without leaving Antarctica.

Exploration and racing[edit]

Aston in Antarctica

In 2005 she joined a race across Arctic Canada to the 1996 position of the North Magnetic Pole, known as the Polar Challenge. She was part of the first all-female team to complete this race; they came in 6th place out of 16 teams.[4]

In 2006 Aston was part of the first all-female British expedition across the Greenland ice sheet.[5]

In 2009 she was the team leader of the Kaspersky Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition, which was a Commonwealth of Nations expedition in which seven women from six Commonwealth member countries skied to the South Pole in 2009 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Commonwealth.[6][7] "Call of the White: Taking the world to the South Pole" is her account of this expedition. It was published by Summersdale in 2011 and was a finalist in the Banff Mountain Book Competition in that year.

In 2012 she became the first person to ski alone across the Antarctic land-mass using only personal muscle power, as well as the first woman to cross the Antarctic land-mass alone.[8][9] Her journey began on 25 November 2011, at the Leverett Glacier and continued for 59 days and a distance of 1,084 miles (1,744 kilometres).[10] She had two supply drops.[10]

Aston has also walked across the ice of Lake Baikal, the world's deepest and oldest lake, and completed the Marathon des Sables.[4][11]

Positions and awards[edit]

She is an official ambassador for both the British Antarctic Monument Trust[12] and the Equaladventure charity,[13] and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Canterbury Christ Church University for her exploration achievements.[14]

Aston was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)[15] and awarded the Polar Medal in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to polar exploration.[16][17][18]


  1. ^ WingsWorldQuest biography
  2. ^ Booth, Robert (23 January 2012). "Briton Felicity Aston becomes first to manually ski solo across Antarctica". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  3. ^ SoapboxScience, Alex Jackson and. "An Intrepid Look at Winter with Climate Scientist and Adventurer Felicity Aston". Scientific American Blog Network. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Felicity Aston Antarctic Scientist and Polar Explorer". Spellbound Talks. 29 December 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  5. ^ "The Arctic Circle". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Sept femmes arrivent au Pôle Sud après un trek de 900 km", Nouvel Observateur, 31 December 2009
  7. ^ "Women complete 562-mile ski journey to South Pole", Los Angeles Times, 31 December 2009
  8. ^ "Long Day's Journey into White | Adventure". Reader's Digest Asia. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  9. ^ Michael Warren. "First woman to cross Antarctica solo sets two records". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  10. ^ a b "British adventurer Felicity Aston caps first ski crossing of Antarctica by woman". ESPN. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  11. ^ Lab, Adventure (13 December 2011). "Expedition Watch: Felicity Aston's Solo Crossing of Antarctica". The Outside Blog. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  12. ^ "British Antarctic Monument Trust – Ambassadors". antarctic-monument.org. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Equal Adventure". Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  14. ^ "First woman to ski across Antarctica alone awarded Honorary Doctorate". canterbury.ac.uk. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Antarctic explorer honoured by Queen". Kent Online. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  16. ^ "No. 61092". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2014. p. N16.
  17. ^ 2015 New Year Honours List Archived 2 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Felicity Aston appointed MBE and awarded Polar Medal". antarctic-monument.org. Retrieved 12 May 2016.