Bryony Balen set to ski to south pole in record attempt

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A student from Derbyshire who is attempting to become the youngest Briton ever to ski to the south pole is set to begin her epic journey.

Bryony Balen, from Melbourne, is due to fly out to start the 700-mile trek in temperatures as low as -40C (-40F) on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old, who is a geography student at Newcastle University, will spend her gap year skiing across ice and snow with five others.

The team is hoping to reach the pole on 17 January and, if they do, Ms Balen will have beaten the existing record, set by 23-year-old Andrew Cooney in 2003.