A dynamic duo from Northumberland have skied their way into the record books, becoming the first British couple to traverse the South Pole…
Conrad and Hilary Dickinson began their epic trek on 3 November 2004.
It took them 70 days to fully complete their 1,380 mile round-trip which, according to the worldwide authority on polar expeditions, ExplorersWeb, has never been achieved before.
Not content with stopping there, they continue their record-breaking run with Hilary receiving an accolade for being the oldest British woman to trek to the South Pole.
Their entire journey was a full 31 miles longer than the 1993 trip Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Mike Shroud made to the same location.
Sir Ranulph himself called to congratulate the pair, impressed by the modest couple’s unwavering bravery and determination.
The Dickinsons faced biting winds and temperatures as low as -45°C, but morale was never low with the warming thought of home and their children, Laura, 23, and Joel, 22, waiting for their return.
Laura, a business student at Sunderland University, was understandably excited about the thought of seeing her parents again before finally being reunited with them on Wednesday, 19 January.
“I am unbelievably proud of all that my parents have achieved in their expedition, and can’t wait to see them again after three months without them! It’s been so hard not seeing them for so long, I can’t wait to hear stories of all their adventures,” she said.
Her brother Joel, studying Chemistry at Leeds University, was just as happy at the thought of his parents being back from their prize winning trek.
“I am delighted to have parents with such drive, it’s a real inspiration…even if at times I feel particularly lazy in comparison,” he said.
The pride of the Dickinson family is echoed by their community, and friends will be awaiting the former army captain and his courageous wife’s return.
An exhausted Mr Dickinson was looking forward to his home luxuries he had sorely missed over the past three months.
“Hilary is looking forward to a glass of Chardonnay and me a pint of Ruddles in the Tap and Spile in Hexham,” he said.
Their favourite Indian restaurant, The Diwan-i-am, will be honouring their achievement with accommodate the celebrated travellers with a curry afterwards.
One thing’s for sure, Hilary will not have to worry about piling on the pounds in the Indian restaurant- she lost an incredible three stone in weight during her dramatic adventure.