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March 2002
Mother of three's journey to the Arctic and back
Lynne Hart

Lynne Hart preparing for the camping trip of a lifetime

Washing with baby wipes, a diet of nuts and salami and extreme conditions - but this Notts mother of three would jump at the chance of doing it all over again.

Lynne Hart, 35, from Sneinton, has just returned from a ten-day crossing of the Finnmark Plateau in Norway.

It was her first trip abroad.

She had only one night’s camping experience behind her.

However, Lynne is a woman with a lot of determination.

"I'd wake up with a frozen mouth and think 'What am I doing?'"
Read our interview with Lynne >>

Lynne was one of three novices who joined Mike and Fiona Thornewill on their latest expedition.

The trek took them from the town of Alta over the tundra and frozen lakes to the town of Karasjok.

The total journey is a distance of 120 km and involved hauling sledges in temperatures as low as -29C.

"It was quite frightening. I did honestly wonder whether I'd made the right decision."
Read our interview with Lynne >>

It was splitting from her husband which became a turning point in her life. She now feels like a “woman unleashed” determined to do lots of exciting things.

It was this, along with the chance to raise money for the NSPCC that spurred her on.

Lynne Hart
Lynne in training before her trip

Lynne Hart met Mike and Fiona Thornewill, through her partner Ian, who works for the couple.

Mike and Fiona Thornewill are know the world over for their ambitious expeditions to the North and South Poles - Lynne was therefore in good hands.

Before the trip Lynne went on a camping trip with the couple to prove that she had the potential to complete the trip. Mike was impressed with her “enormous determination”.

"Food is an issue... we took salami... a bit of long standing joke."
Read our interview with Lynne >>
Lynne’s 4-year-old twins and her 16-year-old son, may be pleased to have her back but Lynne hasn't ruled out doing it all again.

Read our interview to find out why...

Interview with Lynne Hart, Arctic explorer:

How did it all start?
I was asked by Mike and Fiona Thornewill if I was interested in going on an Arctic trek and it just snowballed from there.
What was it like out there?
Very cold. I've never been outside the GB and it was just completely different, covered in snow, extreme.
What was it like with two famous intrepid explorers?
I did feel extremely privileged. They passed on life-saving tips that will have taken them a lifetime to acquire. I am very thankful for the experience.
You were out there ten days. Was it difficult?
We had a really good time but there were moments that were harrowing. We were doing an ascent on to a plateau. I'd never even been on skiis before. When it came to doing hill work it was difficult. The weight of the sleighs were actually pulling us back down the hill. It was quite frightening. I did honestly wonder whether I'd made the right decision by going. But, we got through it.
How high did you climb?
I think we climbed to nearly 3,000 feet.
Was it dangerous?
Well, yes. You hear about temperatures of - 30C but you couldn't possibly know how that feels until you're out there - because you've never experienced it. And it was quite frightening. Especially when you were you were getting in to bed at night. All you'd got showing is your eyes. You've got to be that covered to protect yourself from the cold.
Did you ever wake up and think 'Where am I?'?
Yes. I'd wake up with a frozen mouth and think 'What am I doing?'.
Did you miss anything inparticular?
A shower. You're in a confined space. You're privacy has gone out of the window. You have to use baby wipes. Food is an issue. You have to take a diet you can carry. We took salami and it didn't take long to get fed up of it. It was a bit of a long standing joke.
Are you going to do it again?
There has been talk of something else. I'd like to think I'd do it again. I had such a wonderful experience I'd never say 'no'. The team all got on so well. We had bad times and good times. If it came my way again I'd definitely not pass it up. I'd definitely do it again.

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Mike and Fiona Thornewill's trip to the North Pole

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