TWO intrepid explorers revealed what it’s like to tree across the freezing wilderness of Antartica, in an awe-inspiring talk in aid of the Monmouth Sports Association’s pavilion refurbishment project.

Mum-of-four Wendy Searle from Penallt and Louis Rudd MBE took to the stage together at Monmouth’s Blake Theatre on Thursday, November 23 to give their unique insight into what it takes to face such an adventure and what they have learned along the way.

Keen runner and skydiver Wendy had a relatively ordinary existence until 2015, with a full-time office job.

But then she was inspired to explore some of the world’s most extreme landscapes after meeting a team going on expedition to Antarctica.

She began to wonder if someone with no experience, no time, and no money, could successfully complete a Polar expedition.

It looked an almost impossible challenge, but Wendy set herself the biggest goal of all; a solo, unsupported journey from the coastline of Antarctica to the geographic South Pole.

And in January 2020, Wendy became only the seventh woman in history to ski solo unsupported from Hercules Inlet to the Pole.

Throughout the endeavour, Wendy gave talks to schools, companies and charities, with the aim of inspiring others – especially women and girls – to achieve long-term goals and set themselves bold challenges.

Since then, Wendy has climbed two of the world’s ‘seven summits’, been back to Antarctica, and is now a full-time expedition guide for the Shackleton expedition company.

Wendy managed Louis’ 925-mile Spirit of Endurance expedition in 2018, when he became the first Briton to complete a solo, unsupported crossing of Antarctica, and he reprised her role when she did the trip solo.

The record-breaking polar adventurer, expedition leader and mountaineer MBE is also a former Royal Marine Commando and SAS soldier, with 34 years of service.

He is the first – and only – person to have traversed Antarctica twice using human power alone, has reached the South Pole five times from different coastal start points and summited Antarctica’s highest mountain.

Louis is a member of the exclusive Explorers Club, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an Ambassador for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, Director of Expeditions for Shackleton, a published author and public speaker.

And in the words of Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE: “Capt Rudd is an inspiration to us all, I believe his name will go down in polar history.”

Following the talk there was be a Q&A session. A raffle was run on the evening in aid of the pavilion fundraiser, the grand prize being a Shakleton down jacket generously donated by the company.

Louis also sold and signed his book ‘Endurance’ in the Foyer after the show.