A PENARTH firefighter will be skiing to the South Pole with a colleague from Mid Wales next month to prove that gender is not a barrier to achieving goals.

Georgina Gilbert, based in Penarth, along with Rebecca Rowe, who is part of the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, will spend 45 days from next month.

Ms Gilbert told the Penarth Times that she spent four years preparing for the expedition, learning to ski, survive and pull everything to stay alive during that time.

She said: “We started as amateurs, and now we are polar explorers, about to embark on a journey that proves you are not too old to try new and exciting things.

“The expedition to Antarctica has always been the attention grabber, it’s the message behind it that is important to us.

“What we do before and after is our reason to inspire future generations and every generation of females to show that gender is not a barrier to setting goals and achieving them.”

Both firefighters will be skiing 1,130km to the South Pole in November, pulling 80kg pulks  - sleds used to transport equipment - throughout their journey.

Temperatures are expected to be as low as minus 50 degrees, with wind speeds of more than 60mph.

She added: “The UK training involved dragging tyres along the beach and countryside. Running, weight sessions and then more importantly the cold weather training that we did in Norway and Sweden.

“We couldn’t even ski, let alone ski with sledges behind us, we learned to survive and thrive in these tough, cold climates. We did a three-week epic training mini expedition on Hardangervidda in Norway, after this we felt we were prepared."

After years of training, the exhibition is nearing, and Ms Gilbert is excited to tackle Antarctica.

She added: “We are looking forward to it, all the training and routine makes this feeling possible.

“It’s intimidating to spend 45 days there; it takes a few days to settle into the routine and rhythm of the day.

“After that, it’s a matter of ticking off each day mentally and not getting too excited about things to get carried away and rush things could lead to disaster, the smallest of errors has been exaggerated consequences in Antarctica.”

They have raised two-thirds of their £30,000 target, and still have £9,765 to go, you can donate to their campaign to become the first 999 emergency services team to ski to the South Pole here: https://tinyurl.com/y6may8fn