From Pole to Pole with fearless mum-of-four Ann

Explorer will deliver third in Chancellor Talk series

Date posted

3 May 2017


A SINGLE mum who became a record-breaking Polar explorer after responding to a newspaper advert will share the highs and lows of her adventures with an Edinburgh Napier audience.

Ann Daniels has battled carbon monoxide poisoning, frostbite, moving ridges and thin ice in the course of her expeditions to the ends of the earth.

The mother of young triplets teamed up with four others to complete a 700-mile journey across the bleak wastes of Antarctica to become the first British all-women’s team to ski to the South Pole in 2000.

The former banker also made the tortuous journey to the North Pole with team-mate Caroline Hamilton in 2002.

This expedition, accomplished in temperatures as low as -58 degrees C and with the constant threat of Polar Bear attacks, will be the focus of her appearance at the Craiglockhart campus on Wednesday May 17.

Ann will use colour photos and video to bring to life the challenges they faced in an ultra-hostile environment, and discuss how teamwork and ingenuity helped them achieve their goals.

Ann’s free-to-attend appearance at the Lindsay Stewart Lecture Theatre is the third Chancellor Talk to be delivered at the university. The series is the brainchild of the university’s Chancellor, David Eustace, who first attended the university in his late twenties and used his degree as a platform to build a career as an award-winning photographer and creative consultant.

Dr Eustace said: “At Edinburgh Napier University, we hope to give students, staff and the wider community access to people whose positive attitude has made a real difference to our world. Ann Daniels’ determination to drive herself to new peaks is there for all to see, and it will be fascinating to get a first-hand insight into what makes her tick.”

Ann, from Bradford, had her initial interest sparked in the mid-90s when she responded to a newspaper ad and was chosen from more than 250 applicants to walk the first leg of an all-women’s relay to the North Pole. 

However, two decades on and having met a new partner and had a fourth child, her thirst for Polar adventure remains undiminished. In 2009, she was head of ice operations for the Catlin Arctic Survey, which studied the rapidly disappearing frozen Arctic Ocean. She returned to the ice for the second and third Catlin Arctic surveys in 2010 and 2011.

The explorer is looking forward to telling her Edinburgh audience how maintaining a positive attitude had helped her conquer her fears.

Ann said: “I'm honoured to be asked to share my stories with Edinburgh Napier University. I believe it is within us all to achieve great things. We have to be brave enough to grasp opportunities that come our way and not let fear of failure stop us experiencing new challenges. 

“Nothing worthwhile is achieved without hard work, and a great team is what emerges when we all help each other as well as ourselves. That's when the magic happens.”

Ann will be at the Lindsay Stewart Lecture Theatre at the Craiglockhart Campus on Colinton Road from 6.30-7.45pm on Wednesday May 17. Doors open at 5.45pm, and the lecture will be followed by a Q and A and a reception in the main foyer. Tickets can be ordered here