Wallingford School Welcomed Ice Maidens and Master of the Merchant Taylors’ Company

Wallingford School was delighted to welcome Lieutenant Jenni Stephenson and Captain Zanna Baker from the Army’s Ice Maidens, and a small delegation from the Merchant Taylors’ Company, including the Master & Mistress, Mr & Mrs Peter Macgill.

The Ice Maidens made a very well received presentation about their expedition to an audience of around 190 Year 9 students.


Year 9 were lucky enough to receive some unique guests last week. Two ladies from The Ice Maidens, a team of British soldiers, came to the school to talk about becoming the first female group to cross Antarctica using muscle power alone, pulling sledges and battling temperatures of -50°C.

During the presentation, the ladies shared stories and photographs of their three-month expedition. In just one afternoon we learnt so much about how to prepare for and get through such an intense and gruelling experience.

Particular things that stuck in my mind were the switching in time zone due to the sun ray alignment so that the sun would be behind them when skiing to each destination and in front when asleep. It was fascinating to learn that The Ice Maidens needed to track their calorie input prior to setting off, working out that 6, 000 calories would be burned up each day. The body cannot physically consume this amount of food on a daily basis, so each Ice Maiden had to gain an extra 10kg prior to starting the expedition. 

The ice Maidens left us with the thought that we should never dismiss taking up more adventurous tasks in life, whatever it may be and to always push ourselves both physically and mentally in whatever we do.

- James, Year 9