Endurance

Inniskeen woman skis across Europe's largest plateau

Weather ranged from blistering heat to minus 10

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Inniskeen woman skis across Europe's largest plateau

Edel Kieran, who works in Dundalk, recently completed a training course to take her closer to her polar exploration goals

Former Monaghan football and camogie player Edel Kieran, who works in Dundalk, recently completed a training course to take her closer to her polar exploration goals.

Edel and her partner Kevin took 6 days to cross the Hardangervidda in winter conditions. The plateau is one of Europe's largest and crossing it meant skiing frozen lakes and untracked mountains for 10 hours a day while pulling a 40kg sled, in weather that ranged from blistering heat to minus 10, then camping overnight in the snow.

"We found it challenging" says Edel, "but we have the experience of climbing Elbrus and other high mountains behind us and for the last few months we've been pulling tyres around the Cooley mountains, so we were well prepared.

The expedition started at Finse, an area historically used for training by polar pioneers such as Shackleton. Edel and Kevin aim to follow even more of their ski tracks in the future and fulfil their own polar goals. "Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian leader of the first party to the South Pole, took three attempts to cross Hardangervidda," she continued.

"We're nowhere near his league, but it shows it's a tough place to train and we're delighted to have got across it first time. We still have lots to learn, but we'll put this experience to good use and build towards our goals".

The pair have other challenges coming up, aiming to climb Mont Blanc in the summer and Kilimanjaro in the autumn, before they turn their attention back to the next stage of their polar training.

"If people would like to follow us and see more about our challenges, including video and more photos, they can check out our website www.kevinandedel.com where they'll also find links to our Facebook and Instagram pages" says Edel.

"Hopefully we'll have further interesting adventures to show people as soon as possible!"