The Last Push

I could sugar coat the dynamic and chaotic nature of the past 3 weeks quite easily. I am looking through my camera trying to pick shots to attach to this blog. There are plenty filled with laughter.

The Last Push
I am going to miss the funny looks I get when doing this...

I gave endurance and strength training one last huge push.. training up to 5 hours a day. But the truth is I was already beyond physically prepared

I plowed through my shopping list, with endless hours of research on the best protein bars to fuel me while moving, the best balaclava to protect my nose from frostbite, acquiring a satellite phone, PDA, camera, flip cam, and everything else that I hope will allow me to communicate without freezing 1 day in to the trek. I would have made it with any kind of protein bars and without communication.

I worked hard at negotiating sponsorship agreements in a time when support of any sort is pretty tough to secure …

We thought long and hard about the charities I hope to help raise funds for by doing this, PEAS and PCRF, and how I could do the best I can for them.

And time was flying…

The Last Push
last minute shopping...
The Last Push
Who would've thought it takes so long to pack so light...

Last night friends, supporters, and fellow adventurers hosted a last supper for me. It’s a tradition of ours before an event. Objective: at the risk of becoming diabetic, make one last ditch attempt to put on a few extra kilos to fuel you along the way by eating as much junk food as possible, particularly your favorite sweet indulgences. Somewhere between the krispy kreme donuts for starters and being elbow deep in a family bucket of KFC, I inadvertently found myself mentally flashing through the most important moments of the past 6 months, moments that had fragmented in my mind in the midst of the chaos… but it then all came together. From the inspirational conversations I’ve had, be it with my sponsors or other explorers or young people, to the amount of fun that goes into planning and researching a life dream, to spending more quiet time with myself and my family… I guess it couldn’t have been any other way..

The past 3 weeks have been more challenging then than the past 5 months combined… They say completing the preparation for any big adventure, challenge, or race is the hardest part.  And indeed, flying to Dubai now looking out at the white clouds on a serenely beautiful blue backdrop, chatting to the amazingly warm crew and captain of EK 002, in my mind’s eye, I am already standing at 90 degrees Latitude. The Journey ahead, is simply a matter of executing what I know I have already accomplished over the past 5 odd months.


  1. Faith on

    How beautiful…..You have already inspired us all….

  2. Gordon H on

    Wishing you well on your adventure and hoping you get to where every direction is south!

    “.. think without limits, have the courage to try and the determination to see your goal through, all things are possible.” Caroline Hamilton, South Pole 2000.

  3. Ikmal Hisham on

    All the best and God bless in your quest !

  4. fatima on

    I really love ur spirit…. good luck

  5. Danny on

    Good luck & wishing you all the best from over here in Abu Dhabi!  Hope everything goes well for you.

  6. Sarita on

    You go girl! What a great adventure, enjoy every ache, every crunch of snow, and every step!

  7. Gamil Mosleh on


  8. Bojoe Malaysia on

    Greetings from Malaysia ! May Allah protects you along the journey. Wishing you all the best !

  9. diab Shammary on

    recently read “to the end of earth” by the great Tom avery, and was inspired by this young hero, and said to my self why not having our role model heros of our own, and the news of your plan came as a great relief and byond expectations, what you are doing will have a positive impact farther than we can imagine today, god bless you and gives you the strength and will to succeed and join those special bread of great heros to inspire us to rise and join thw world, in fact I already listed you as my hero

  10. Silverine on

    All the best and success be YOURS!!!
    May the Almighty Allah protect you all the way and back to your loving family!!!

  11. RK on

    I’m sure we will be witnessing history in the making. I do hope we get to see your amazing journey (no matter what the outcome) on a premier channel such as National Geographic or Discovery….Good luck and god bless

  12. walid Tawfiq on

    May Allah Protect you and give you the strength and the power to achieve your Goal.
    Go for it and Good luck.

  13. Durga on

    Wishing you all the best..

  14. Shahla on

    I love your courage. I wish you a great journey. I follow you on the paper. Good luck

  15. David Web on

    May God be with you. Good and best of luck. Hey you trained in my hometown in Minnesota! You have the ‘right stuff’ to succeed inshaAllah…

  16. Mimi Smith on

    What an inspiration! I hope I look forward to sharing your story with my students in Mezyad, UAE. Best of luck and safe home!

  17. Salman Zahid on

    Wish you all the very best and hope and pray that you have a successful trek….way to go!!

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About this journal

This is Elham Al-Qasimi’s journal, kept as she prepares for her North Pole expedition. Keep track of both her preparation as well as her progress during the expedition here.

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Elham’s daily schedule

Before she sets out on her expedition, Elham has a very busy schedule to follow. Follow a date link to read what she’ll be doing on that day.

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