Latest Expedition 2019

On July 12, Maria completed a non-stop Multisport expedition race called Nordic Islands Adventure Race covering 700km and 16,000 metres ascending and descending. It began in the Swedish mountains of Åre and finished in the Norwegian fjords of Ålesund.

Maria and her team (Team HARd Days Night) achieved 4th place in six days on nine hours of sleep!

Her sponsor was Esri UK

Photos by Kirsten Oliver, Honza Zac, Gunnar Eld & Team HARd Days Night

World first cycle to the South Pole 2013

Expedition Facts

  • The expedition was called the White Ice Cycle Expedition
  • It began on the 17th December 2013
  • Maria started her expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf at the edge of Antarctica at S85 27.066 W150 03.044
  • Maria cycled up through the Trans-Antarctic Mountain range, on the Leverett Glacier. The maximum altitude she reached was 2941m.The South Pole lies at 2835m
  • This route was chosen due to its compact surface created by the South Pole traverse that delivers fuel to the South Pole station each year, making cycling possible.
  • Accumulation of snow drifts on the tracks made for some tough days of cycling.
  • Maria cycled every metre of the way, using human power alone.
  • The total distance cycled was 638km.
  • Maria cycled for between 10hrs to 17hrs each day with no rest days.
  • Maria’s route did not take her in a straight line to the pole as she had to avoid a major crevasse area above the Glacier.
  • The lowest recorded temperature was minus 29 degrees C, not taking into account wind chill.
  • Maria cycled a uniquely designed PolarCycle which she specified and help to create.
  • Her Antarctic clothing included minus 100 degree boots and pogie winter cycling gloves
  • Maria lost 8.2% of her body weight during the expedition despite consuming in the region of 4000kcal per day.
  • The White Ice Cycle was a modernised form of travel in Antarctica, demonstrating that cycling can be more efficient than skiing to the South Pole.
  • In 2013 she became the first person in the world to cycle to the South Pole from the edge of Antarctica and also set the human powered speed record of 10 days 14 hours and 56 minutes. This still stands today.

Earlier Expeditions 2007-2013

The Marathon Des Sables (6 marathons in 7 days acorss the Sahara desert) was where Maria’s adventure life began back in 2007.

She has since cycled across Lake Baikal on the Central Siberian Plateau, cycled the length of New Zealand and represented her country in Adventure Racing World Series around the globe. She has been podium placed in many Adventure Racing Coast to Coast events at home and overseas and has taken on the likes of the Devises to Westminster canoe race, Vasaloppet ski race and sailed and run between the highest peaks of Great Britain twice during the Three Peaks Yacht Race!

Maria is a strategist. She is always working on plans for something innovative, exciting and filled with adventure and you can follow her progress both here and on her social media sites instagram, twitter & facebook @marialeijerstam

Lake Baikal