What might possibly motivate a 16-year-old Australian high school student to set out to conquer the world’s three great ice caps?
For Jade Hameister, it was family first. Her mountaineer father took her to Mt Everest base camp at the age of 12. There, she met an Icelandic woman who had completed a solo expedition to the South Pole – and it was her stories that sparked Hameister’s dream to do the triple: the North Pole, the South Pole and Greenland.
Her father not only encouraged her, but joined her on the journeys captured in the feature documentary Jade’s Quest: To the Ends of the Earth (National Geographic,
Sky 072, Sunday, 7.30pm). “It
captures a lot of the raw moments,” says Hameister. “I was hoping that they would do that, because I think that’s what people want to see.”
“It hurts, and you are always cold. You get in the tent and you think the stove will warm you up, or your sleeping bag, but you’re always cold.
“There was lots of strength training, putting on muscle. We did tyre-pulling on the beaches to simulate what it would feel like, but we couldn’t
prepare for the cold.”
Inevitably, she had moments when she wanted to call the whole thing off.
“I was never going to go home,” she says, “it was just a matter of stopping, taking a couple of deep breaths and realising that I didn’t want to go home and I wanted to finish it.”
She’s settling back into school now, having promised her parents she’d complete her education. But she’s not ruling out future adventures.
Jade’s Quest: To the Ends of the Earth, Sunday.