First Women’s Expedition in Antarctica

On the ice dome of Antarctica, falling on the wind, follow five human figures, pronounced in Sanya. They are tormented by mountain sickness and cold. They move the goal – to reach the southern pole. They walked for 30 years.

This is not the heroic team of Amundsen, who did not die on the back of the associates of Scott. This is the our "Metelitsa" – the first women’s expedition on the ice mainland. South Pole – their third hike in Antarctica.

Seven years earlier was the "East" station – the South Geomagnetic Pole and the most inaccessible polar station of the planet, the place where the polarists do not live, and survive. Because 3.5 km above sea level and zero humidity. The minimum air temperature in the entire history of observations (-89.6 ° C) is also here. In January 1989, nine girls reached a pole of cold on skis, overcoming 1420 km in 57 days. In their narts lay a provisional, a tent without heating, personal belongings, equipment for communication and medical research and two primus. In their heart burned fire: get!

Start. Supermaphon

1966. Mai graduates led by a master of sports Valentina Kuznetsova ran from Moscow to Leningrad skiing for seven and a half days, overcoming about 100 km a day, and became the first women who have committed something like that.

"After Leningrad, an emptiness appeared at some point: did everything really? There will be no longer long skiing, snow and joy of success? Themselves objected: it will be! With snowstorms we are now on "you". So the name of the team came, and everything else appeared with him, "then I remembered Kuznetsov.

Then there was an idea of ​​a superdant mileage Moscow – Leningrad – Helsinki – Turku – Tornio. 2600 km, 33 runningday – even to unsubscribe. Training walked a few months.

On the day of X, the air temperature fell to -30 ° C. But Valentina Kuznetsova, Svetlana Alexandrova, Tatiana Dyakonova, Nadezhda Kuzina and Antonina Egorov went to the start.

For a whole month of "Metelitsa" mastered the attention of Finland. Newspapers reported how our skiers go, led a schedule of passage through settlements. Schoolchildren were freed from the lessons, and they went on skis to meet supermaphon. Noting that "Misetiza" came out for the edge of critical physical exertion in skiing, specialists took up the revision of the technique of training the strongest skiers.

But the captain of the team of Valentina Kuznetsova 2000 km fled with a crack in the ankle, having injured almost at the very beginning of the mileage!

Why not Antarctica?

To get to Antarctica in those years the girl was almost unreal. There was an unlawful ban on the work of representatives of weak gender in Antarctic expeditions. Men were even in official refuses: "There are no shops and hairdressers, which means there are no conditions for women". In 1988, Metelitsa will be the first women’s ski expedition on the mainland. But before that, I had to walk.

The Soviet geologist Maria Klenova in 1956 became the first woman researcher in Antarctica in 1956. Ten years later, her breakthrough managed to repeat the Argentinean scientist. The United States and the United Kingdom removed the formal ban on the work of the ladies in the expeditions only in the late 60s and 70s. Since 1984, Nemka Monica Pusheppelite tried to break through the ice continent, but did not want to make mixed compositions and managed it only in 1989, when she headed the first in history with an exclusively female expedition, which overwhelmed on the basis of Antarctica.

And what if you do not just go through Antarctica skiing, and also conduct research? Autonomous (T.E. Unaccompanied) Women’s team in extreme conditions – a wonderful test group. Scientists idea approved. Valentina Kuznetsova began to collect the team. It includes not just skiers, but at the same time doctors, psychologists, radio players, navigator-orienteers and film operators.

The Arctic has become a training test site. Yugorsky Peninsula, East Coast of Taimyr, Cape Chelyuskin, Northern Earth, Eight expeditions to Earth Franz Joseph – Ski "Methetis" flashed deep Phalary 13 times.

In high-tech expeditions, at the time of peak loads, the performance of the body was measured, analyzes were taken, which frozen fell into the Institute of Extreme Medicine. According to physico-biological research, obtained in the three Antarctic expeditions "Metelitsy", scientific work still writes.

Photo: From the archive of Tatiana Kuznetsova

"On the 1976 expedition to the Northern Earth, the doctors were urgently searched for. Shura Rogova flew to Moscow and immediately turned on. And at the time of the start, seeing impressive nars. In full asked:

– And where dogs? After all, narts for them?

Answer her was friendly laughter. A minute later, the narts were injected themselves. ".

Land Franz Joseph. Three Bears

In the campaigns read diaries of pioneers. For the polar circle, in places where the expeditions of Sedov and Rusanov passed, the involvement with the heroes of the Arctic was especially acute. In May 1979, George Sedov – 400 km from his death (Rudolf island) to the Islands of Hayes took place in the footsteps. The only man in the team was Dog Amur, one of the best Clasters of the Arctic.

From the diary of Rimma Didenko:

"9th May. Ahead – Earth Karl Alexandra … Fascinating Iceberg. There is a place of ice. Open water near, 8-10 km from us. On the soul anxious. I write and think: "And maybe not to sleep today? Jerk?". In a word, I am a panty and panicker. And we have seen the first bear today. He came close, meters for 200. I lay on the snow, putting the carbine to narts. Epipped easier to shoot. Carabiner heavy, prehistoric, 4-charging, release of 1941. Tanya shot from the rocket, and the bear ran away ".

Photo: From the archive of Tatiana Kuznetsova

From the memories of Tatiana Kuznetsova:

"Some of the girls looks into the binoculars: "I see three bear", And the other: "I see five bears .." It became clear: it’s time to select binoculars ".

"If the bear hunts you, you will not see it. If you saw it, it means that he goes by, "the polar explores were instructed. And they gave with them the gun, then a special dog-bearish.

From the diary of Rimma Didno:

"12 May. Like everyone, put a knife under the head. In case, if the ice is torn and grows into the sea. You can cut a tent and jump out out. Provided if it goes to pop up ".

In long transitions, the team became monolith: one for all and all for one. Returning from the Arctic to the Large Earth, someone said: "Let’s not call anyone and wait for a day".

North Pole. 1995

In this campaign "Metelitsa" waited for open water, frost and drifting ice. The state of the girls before the start professionally determined Tatyana Kuznetsova: "We are fine with the deviations". With a sense of humor, apparently, too. This is the main thing.

It was unclear to the latter, whether the campaign will take place. In mid-March, all the same came out. For the first time, a man was included in the team – Sergey Pechenegov, who had already happened on the pole.

Overcame 500 km of difficult-scale torosa, faults, cracks. On the way, we found a Japanese-alone traveler, Mitsouri, both, who submitted the SOS signal on the road … Doctors Olga Fedotkin and Tatiana Kuznetsova assisted him.

First Women's Expedition in Antarctica

From the expedition diaries:

"In the tent a wonderful climate. Many jokes. Discussion on the topic "What I will do when I become a grandmother" For many, it implies an obvious answer: "I once be a grandmother, you need to go to the South Pole, and then put a monument to Nansen"".

Hike dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the victory over fascism.

Antarctica. Sales dream

The test campaign on Antarctica was already. In December 1988, nine girls from the young Misceliers, led by a permanent captain, published on their extreme route from the Mirny station to the Vostok station. At night, it seemed that breathing was about to stop. In the morning, rising, collected the camp and sat down in Sani. Almost two months go. Burntions, shot down legs, narrow from edema, hypoxia and 30-degree summer frost. Girls on the "East" waited for a big holiday.

The route of the decisive stage of the expedition to the Southern Pole was to go from the East station. But since 1989, it was not possible to find transport that would throw the team there from the coast. By the end approached the 1995th. Due to money difficulties, the number of participants has been cut. Double due to weather, the flight was canceled. Time remained little. Lyudmila Titova, Antonina Egorova, Tatyana Kuznetsova, Olga Fedotkin, Svetlana Zubkov and Olga Lechshchikova (radio lathe) looked long after the aircraft, carrying out the girlfriends led by the captain of the team.

"To return people from the southern pole there was no money. And Kuznetsov’s vigorous currency, which so many years led us to him and dreamed of achieving him with us, flew to Moscow, so that while we go to the pole, find this money "(Tatiana Kuznetsova).

Get to the southern pole without men? "Metelitsy" and it himself seemed impossible. They did not twist in the clouds, did not want to seem stronger than men and willingly took help. Friends and husbands were a strong rear. In the atmosphere of discussions, campaigns and songs grew their children. Valentina’s daughter Irina Kuznetsova over time too joined the team.

Photo: From the archive of Tatiana Kuznetsova

December 30 at 87 ° south latitude they rose on skis. Two weeks remained on the campaign, and not a month as planned. Frost, limit dry dryness, strong counter winds, low atmospheric pressure and lack of oxygen. Height grew, Sani pulled back. Ski refused to slide on the snow, more like sand. On the first day they were able to go only two and a half hours. On the second defeated 7 km in three and a half hours. And in the evening they celebrated the most memorable in the life of the New Year – 1996.

25 minutes stroke and five minutes. Norma – 20-30 km per day. Put a tent, cook food, take tests, write indicators, compare the changes … On the sixth day, the path to the pole remained only one degree in latitude. On the eighth day, the well-being of the team improved, and the frost became stronger. In the thoughts spinning steps, degrees, hours, kilometers. Just not removed from the route, just to reach the goal!

January 12, 1996 First in Antarctica Women’s skiing expedition "Metelitsa" Water Flag of Russia in the South Pole.

In 2017, the captain of "Metelitsy" Valentina Mikhailovna Kuznetsova was posthumously awarded the title "Traveler Legend".

Polar team "Metelitsa":

– the only female team in the world, carrying out scientific and sports expeditions in high latitudes of the Arctic and Antarctic;

– It is among the most significant female expeditions of the planet. The only team from Russia and the USSR made to this list;

– included in the list of the 200 most outstanding expeditions in the history of mankind;

– carried out 13 autonomous expeditions in the Arctic and three – in Antarctica. Among them, the extreme transition from the Mirny station to the southern geomagnetic pole and an expedition to the South Geographical Pole.

First Women's Expedition in Antarctica

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